Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2071 ..
Ms MacDonald: That is right, value adding at Boys Grammar. What did they spend their money on? Individual air-conditioning systems.
MRS BURKE: I listened to you in silence, Ms MacDonald. You will get your chance.
I think the former Liberal government can be thanked for the quality of that school system. I think we did some really good things in education in the ACT. Mr Stefaniak would be able to back that up. However, we should not become complacent and there must always be changes. This is not a change for the better; this is a detrimental change. We must implement improvements and we must be vigilant to stem the rot that has slowly set in in other jurisdictions around Australia.
We are proud of our education system here. Why do you think parents send their children here to our education system? Because they are proud. If we are not prepared to move with the times, we will find those things creeping into the ACT that have ruined other jurisdictions. We need to heed the warnings.
Mr Speaker, we should not set back our education system in this way. I commend Mr Pratt's motion to the Assembly.
MR WOOD(Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for the Arts and Heritage and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (8.18): I was waiting for Mrs Burke to tear to shreds the figures that Mr Corbell provided. She said it was smoke and mirrors or something, so I was really waiting for you to be demolished, Mr Corbell. However, you are still sitting there.
Mr Corbell, of course, the figures stand up. Can I say to you: who began the process that resulted in this? And to Ms Gallagher: I congratulate you, because this step is about 20 years too late. I know about that. In fact-
Mrs Burke: Does that mean you did not do anything when you were there, Mr Wood?
MR WOOD: Yes, indeed. In fact, it is interesting to note that one current minister for education and I think three ex-ministers for education are present in this parliament at the moment, and one ex-member of that very fine body, the ACT Schools Authority, so there is a bit of background to education in this place.
Here is a further bit of background. I worked for Senator Susan Ryan when she was education minister and part of my work was, would you believe, to comment on ACT education matters and pass block grant applications and results, and interest subsidy scheme outcomes, backwards and forwards. I think we could have acted there, so this action is long overdue.
I remember the one that came through for the fine function centre on the shore of the lake owned now by one of those schools that you mentioned. It is a function centre and it got an interest subsidy. It was a bit hard to justify. It does have some rowing equipment underneath it, but its purpose was to be a function centre. I admire and respect the wonderful art centre at the Boys Grammar School. It is a wonderful place and I congratulate them, but I am not sure whether the rest of Canberra, every other student in