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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2159 ..

Mr Berry (continuing):

There would be some unintended consequences if Mr Berry's amendment were to get up. This is a dangerous amendment. There are other ways that this member and his party can seek to change what the government is proposing to do in its budget. It is the government's budget. The government decides how it will spend money. We have done that in a wide range of areas.

It certainly could be argued, as Mr Osborne did, that rather than honouring this promise the money could be used in other areas. It isn't education money; it is Urban Services money. It might well be that that could go to more police, something to do with hospitals, roads, or whatever. There is any number of areas, just like there is any number of other initiatives which I think might be far more appropriate for the Labor Party to seize on in terms of wanting more education funding in some areas than they have. What they are doing, Mr Speaker, is a stunt. I think most members might well see through that. This amendment is not the way to go about it.

MS TUCKER (12.02): First I want to respond to Mr Stefaniak. It is really incredible when the government says they are providing money for free school buses for children who go to school in the free school buses and it has nothing to do with education. This is like me telling you black is white, and I will say it so many times that it will start to seem logical. Clearly, an amount of money that is spent on transport, on school buses for school children, in the minds of the community logically has something to do with education. It is about getting children to school. Children go to school to be educated. It is about education. It has to be related.

Mr Stefaniak: You can argue where you want to spend it, Kerrie.

MS TUCKER: This is not the car registration scheme, Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Stefaniak: Why not spend that money, Kerrie? Why not spend that?

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Stefaniak!

MS TUCKER: It is obviously of interest to people who have children who are being educated, because it is about how they get to school. Mr Humphries, in the first announcement of this initiative, said that this is about education. He said that. You have changed your mind. I do not know what Mr Humphries is saying now, but he said that to begin with.

The second thing to address is Mr Moore's comments on the nature of this piece of legislation. Mr Stefaniak referred to it a little bit as well. The Speaker obviously made a very clear statement about the fact that this bill was not out of order. This is not, contrary to what Mr Moore says, a major change to how money can be appropriated. Once again, if Mr Moore says something, he says it over and over, and he thinks that will probably mean people are convinced.

This bill is not a major change to how money can be appropriated. It is not proposing that the money cannot be spent. It seeks to insert a new step which in this situation requires the government to have a specific vote on free school bus schemes. This piece of legislation says that if this Assembly supports this free bus proposal at this time the

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