Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (18 June) . . Page.. 2075 ..
MR CORNWELL: You have seen them, have you? Have you seen the effort that is put in by the volunteers that go along and work at regular intervals to build up the facilities and to maintain the facilities? I think that the problem we have here, as I have said before in these debates, is the politics of envy. But the politics of envy is not a matter for government school parents; it is in the hidebound ideological attitude of this Labor government and some of their running mates, like Ms Connors, my old sparring partner, who are simply living back in the 1950s in terms of having a them-and-us attitude.
Mrs Dunne: Perhaps they are running dogs.
MR CORNWELL: Yes, bring on the dogs. Mr Speaker, this is about the politics of envy, but it is firmly seated in this Labor government, its ideological hang-ups and, as I say, some of its running mates. I believe that you will have cause to regret this decision. I will watch very carefully to see how you are going to reinvest, when you are going to reinvest and with whom you are going to reinvest this ISS money. We shall see what happens, but I have grave doubts that it will ever end up in the non-government sector.
MRS DUNNE(8.35): While I was sitting upstairs, I was going through my mail and today, just today, I have received three letters from three sets of parents in my electorate asking that this not happen. This is not the Labor Party's caricature of toffee-nosed kids in straw boaters and striped blazers, with mum driving a Rolls Royce-
Mr Pratt: A doctor mum.
MRS DUNNE: Sorry, they have to be a doctor's child if mum is driving a Rolls Royce. These are everyday working parents, both of whom work to send their kids, not necessarily to the flash grammar schools, but to the systemic Catholic schools or the small Christian schools across this place, because that is a choice they can make. In doing so, the nearly 40 per cent of parents across this territory who make that choice and who make the sacrifices to send them there save this polity a lot of money. What happens in response to that? This venal government, which has complete antipathy for anything that seems to go on in a non-government school-
Ms Gallagher: That's why we've increased their funding.
MRS DUNNE: Only because you had to succumb to the pressure. The thing is that every fibre of your being shows antipathy to the non-government school sector. Every child who goes to a non-government school and their parents have been run down in this place tonight by the ideologues of the Labor Party. The former minister for education is sitting over there. He was lucky; he got out. I once asked him, "Minister, are you the minister for education or government school education?"He said, "I'm responsible for government schools, Mrs Dunne."
Mr Corbell: "I'm responsible for public education."
MRS DUNNE: You were responsible for public education. At least the new minister has not been totally brainwashed yet, because I have asked her that question and she still thinks that she is the minister for the education of everybody in the ACT school system. So we have a little bit of hope that she will not be entirely brainwashed by the Labor ideologues in cabinet and somewhere along the line we might see some justice.