Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2401 ..
education. That is his major intervention. That is what this budget is all about for the Liberal Party. This budget so offends the Liberal Party that they have moved an amendment to remove from the budget the capacity for the ACT government to run education campaigns on human rights.
This is the great philosophical position of the Liberal Party. This is the alternative government. This is their vision. These are the policies that the Liberal Party, the opposition, is putting forward during this budget debate. It is a policy around: "Let's actually not have any of this human rights nonsense because we're the party that locks up little kiddies in concentration camps. We're the party that does those things. We're the party that suffers Australians to be locked up in places like Cuba without charge and without access to legal representation. That's what we stand for. That's what it means to be a member of the Liberal Party in Australia in 2003."
MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I heard you use the word "crap"earlier. That is unparliamentary. Withdraw it.
Mr Pratt: I withdraw, Mr Speaker.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure-part 1.17-Education, Youth and Family Services, $422,138,000 (net cost of outputs), $56,936,000 (capital injection) and $127,001,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $606,075,000.
MR PRATT(11.48): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the education budget but firstly to speak about at number of concerns. Mr Speaker, last year Labor's excuse for a totally visionless education budget was the anticipation of the Connors funding inquiry. This year, two years after an election, there is no excuse. Mr Speaker, during the election the government boasted that it had a vision for education. So far the ACT public has not seen that vision.
I would like to again reiterate my concern and disappointment in respect of the abolition of the interest subsidy scheme, a scheme which has been relied upon by the non-government schools to educate 40 per cent of our school kids and to help facilitate their infrastructure-not picnics-and core functions. It is a kick in the guts for a sector which provides us with annual savings of around $28.5 million.
Mr Speaker, whilst I welcome the government's funding for class reduction programs in non-government schools, I note that it has come at a high cost. It is still not clear whether that funding has come from the remainder of the $27 million or instead is to be funded out of what will be saved in the future from the now-defunct interest subsidy scheme allocation of funding.
Mr Speaker, there is other money which has gone missing from the $27 million-money which was supposed to go into capital injections for class size reduction. Bang, it's gone, disappeared somewhere into the ether. Maybe it will turn up again in the government's election promises next year.