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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2801 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

some have certainly improved their act and come to realise that business is not an enemy but creates jobs, there is still an inclination to overtax and effectively kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. That is something I do not want to see happen. There are some indications that there is a tendency in this budget to start down that track.

I would caution the government against that, especially in planning. We have a garden city. We love the nature of Canberra, but there has to be development. It has to be sensible, sure, but we need development. We need to continue to grow and to move on, not take steps that dampen investment in this town. When that happens the jobless rates rise, we go backwards and we have all sorts of problems.

A number of promises have not been kept. I can recall going around to various meetings last year when I was education minister. We made promises; the Labor Party made promises. Those most aggrieved at promises not being kept are the independent schools.

We have a diverse education system. About 37 or 38 per cent of schools are in the independent, non-government sector. We also have an excellent government sector. The needier schools raised some excellent points. Certainly the Catholic schools need extra assistance. I can vouch for that, having gone to virtually all our schools in both sectors during the time I was minister. It struck me that in information technology the Catholic sector was lagging behind the government sector. Quite often you would see in a Catholic primary school about a third of the number of computers in a government primary school with the same number of pupils. Promises were made by the government when it was in opposition, but that sector has received very little.

I recall reading in the Catholic Voice that comes to my office that there was only a 5 per cent increase to the Catholic system, which supplies about 28 per cent of students. They very aggrieved as a result of broken promises. The government has to be a government for all education, not just one group over the other. That is accepted throughout Australia. There are some worrying signs and some things the government might need to do next time round to fix that up.

I am not going to delve into my specific portfolio areas. I will leave that to the detail stage. I was concerned to see some slowdown and some changes in rejuvenation of local shopping centres. There are some issues in relation to the Jamieson shopping centre which some of the people working there have problems with.

I was very concerned to see money we put in the budget for construction of a skateboard park at Charnwood has been taken out. I asked one or two questions on that and was told by the Treasurer or the Chief Minister that it would have been nice but the government had other priorities. I think that is very much a priority.

Mr Corbell has made much of his $556,000 scheme over four years, starting with $151,000 this year, for a youth outreach service. I am pleased to see that service. It builds on work we started, emanating from Ginninderra District High School. Although it is laudable, it is not going to reach everyone, only some people.

There was money for the skateboard park. That would have benefited up to 6,000 young people. Another thing was changed. We had money for some tennis courts. It was just a matter of finding a place for them, which we did about the time of the election.

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