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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 560 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

I am surprised, Mr Speaker, that the Liberal Party, which is meant to be the party of tolerance and the party of diverse views, is not prepared to commit-

Mr Stanhope: It gleefully ignores calls to free the refugees; that is what it is all about.

MR CORBELL: Awful stuff like freeing the refugees. Mr Speaker, the issue of politics in schools is always a sensitive one.

Mrs Cross: Get your facts straight.

Mr Stanhope: What, they weren't thrown overboard?

Mr Cornwell: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I can't hear the answer of the minister to my question because the Chief Minister keeps interjecting.

MR SPEAKER: I take your point of order.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, the issue of political education in schools is always a sensitive one. The issue around political parties being active in school grounds is also a sensitive one, but I believe it can be managed appropriately and sensitively and still allow students access to information on a range of political viewpoints. Mr Speaker, there are legislative requirements already about when people are and are not permitted on school grounds.

If Mr Cornwell would like to raise with me the specifics of the incident that he is clearly alluding to, I am happy to have the matter investigated.

Mr Speaker, as a matter of principle, this government welcomes young people being involved in the political process, being actively engaged in the political process and participating in a way that helps make other people aware of political issues. Mr Speaker, unlike those opposite, evidently, I happen to believe that people under the age of 18 do have a mind when it comes to politics and can exercise it very effectively.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.

Personal explanation

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 46, I seek leave to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: You may proceed.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I want to make a statement following the minister's-

Mr Quinlan: Only if you have been misrepresented.

MRS CROSS: Would you like to get up and make this personal explanation, Mr Quinlan, or shall I do so?

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