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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1258 ..

MR PRATT (continuing):

teachers, as a starting point? Just get the trial on the ground-implement it in a couple of schools to see how it goes. Then, finally, funding for fitness testing. (Extension of time granted.)

We do not need a trial to see whether fitness testing is needed or how it works. Again, we pick up the Robert de Castella program, which has already been implemented in a number of schools. We could expand that to a number of primary schools. That would be good money well spent, to get some very important programs underway.

Mr Speaker, with all due respect, I think the minister's blind defence of Lyndsay Connors is predictable. We understand solidarity in the ranks, but I guess the evidence speaks for itself. I have been meeting with stakeholders. There are enormous concerns with many of the recommendations of this report, particularly the attacks on the non-government sector. The $7.4 million was allocated by the coalition, in a particular spending timeframe, and was not spent by the Labor Party. Any suggestion it was not going to be spent before 2003-04 is simply wrong. Mr Corbell promised that Connors would advise how to spend that funding-he said that. The new minister is now contradicting that, perhaps simply because Ms Connors did not undertake that allocation and notate where that money might go.

This report has blown the budget. In fact, it has cost more than $2,000 per page. I don't know what we get for that-I don't think we get anything. The minister has said she will not apologise for the Connors report. Fair enough-she did not appoint Connors, but the government did and the government should apologise.

The minister's responsibility is to provide a good education system. I am sure she is up to it. The minister's responsibility is to focus on all sectors. It is her responsibility to celebrate their complementarity-the complementarity of the ACT education system. She is the minister for the ACT education system. I do not think Connors does any favours in supporting her role and her mission in that regard.

Mr Deputy Speaker, I conclude by saying that this is a government of waste and inaction-and Connors underwrites that.

Question put:

That Mr Pratt's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

        Ayes 5                                 Noes 10

Mrs Burke

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mr Cornwell

Mrs Cross

Mr Quinlan

Mr Pratt

Ms Dundas

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Ms Tucker

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Wood

Question so resolved in the negative.

Motion negatived.

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