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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3262 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Such is the Liberal Party's desperation and irrelevance as a political party within this community, such is the paucity of their own policy work and development, that the best they can do on the day that the government holds a major community summit on water at which over 200 individuals and organisations have voluntarily attended to discuss this most important issue, is to stand up in this place and say, "Well, what have you done inside the house to date?"This is in the midst of the only genuine effort any government has ever made to address issues around water and water use. You are a policy-free zone, a vacuum.

Two years after the last election and a year to go before the next election, the alternative government has not a single policy on the table.

Mr Stefaniak: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR STANHOPE: Not a single policy on the table after two years, with one year to go. Not a single policy.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Chief Minister, resume your seat.

Mr Stefaniak: Mr Speaker, standing order 118 (a) provides that answers should be concise and also confined to the subject matter. I do not think the Chief Minister is achieving either of these directions.

MR SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister has wound up his response.

MR STANHOPE: I have, Mr Speaker. I would just like to conclude with the remark that after two years in opposition the alternative government does not have a single policy on the table. It is a policy-free zone-a disgrace.

Dunlop-construction of school

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, considering the number of young families that are currently residing in Dunlop, are you planning to fund the construction of a preschool and primary school in the Dunlop area?

MS GALLAGHER: At this stage there aren't any plans to build a school in Dunlop-a primary school or preschool-primarily because of the excess capacity that remains in the schools in the surrounding areas, including Charnwood, MacGregor and Holt. The analysis that has been done, in terms of the student population that might be coming out of Dunlop, shows that the capacity can be met within the existing infrastructure that is provided in those surrounding schools.

In fact, certainly in Charnwood's case, it is an extremely small school and would benefit from students coming from Dunlop to that school, to ensure that that school increases its numbers. We all know that, once numbers in schools get very small, they can lose a lot of the add-ons that come from a bit higher population within schools.

Certainly at the moment there aren't any plans, but it is very much because of the capacity that exists in the surrounding suburbs.

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