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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2435 ..

Mr Berry (continuing):

socially. In fact, I was anything but at risk socially. If anything I might have been at risk surviving socially.

Mr Wood: Are you at risk electorally?

MR HARGREAVES: I am at risk electorally. Thank you very much, Mr Wood, for the challenge. Mr Hoover was right; don't worry about the people in front of you, worry about the people behind you.

Mr Speaker, I commend this report to the Assembly. Come the October revolution, I ask the new Assembly to consider stitching together a number of these reports. Let's have a holistic picture of what we can do for these kids to make sure they get a better life than we have had so far and so that future generations of community leaders have sound education, sound social development, and a warm and loving environment from which they come.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.12): I will make some brief comments on the report. Firstly, I will make some comments in relation to Mr Berry's additional comments about school buses. Clearly those comments are extraneous to what seems to be, on the face of it, a quite good report. I think other members of the committee have made similar comments. I will remind members of some basic arithmetic I think I did during the last sittings when Mr Berry and others opposite maintained that this $27 million could be spent better, and how it could be spent in education.

Firstly, it is an initiative that emanates out of Urban Services and there is no guarantee that if it was available it would be spent on education. There are other competing priorities right across the board as well. But even if all of that money was available, I hark back to what I said in relation to a press release that I think one of the members opposite put out which indicated that, given that they were spending quite a bit of recurrent money on extending our kindergarten to Year 2 initiative to Year 3, it would only leave, on a recurrent basis, some $1.25 million per annum to spend on anything else, including some of the measures here.

Mr Berry: You forgot the $8 million, Bill.

MR STEFANIAK: That is capital, I think, Wayne. I think it is $7.92 million for new buses.

Mr Berry: No, it's not.

MR STEFANIAK: You need to look at your figures again. I know you lot are not terribly good at that. That is probably why we inherited $344.5 million plus back in 1995.

Turning to the report, I have not had a chance to read it in any detail. I just flipped through it quickly. It is quite obvious, Mr Speaker, that the committee put in a lot of work, and I thank its members for their efforts. There are a number of recommendations that, on the face of them, seem to be eminently sensible. Certainly, this government will look at them very closely. Any potential government after

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