Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 5 May 2005) . . Page.. 1872 ..
Mr Smyth: It is really simple, John. Did you appropriate the money?
Mr Seselja: He broke the promise.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves has the floor.
MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is also true that we have had conversations with people most affected by accommodation issues; we have had conversations with tenants and with tenant advocacy groups; from time to time we have conversations with the real estate institute and, in fact, we have conversations with the community. What we do not do is wander through budget papers in a bout of insouciance trying to find a figure to trip people up with.
This government has a concern about accommodation for people. I have no difficulties at all in telling the Assembly about the $52 million that is in here. I have no difficulties at all in telling this chamber that, over three years, this government has put $200 million into the sector. All I can say to Mrs Burke is: keep trying; keep fishing; and I wish you the very best of luck.
MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, if it is appropriated funds, why has it not shown up in budget paper 4 on page 323 under the 2005-06 capital works program, spread across the outyears? If it is non-appropriated funds—if this funding is to be financed by Housing ACT by its own sourced revenues—why did you not indicate that it appears on BP3 under non-appropriation new works 2005-06 for housing on page 215? It is either non-appropriation or appropriation. Which is it?
MR HARGREAVES: If Mrs Burke wants to have accounting lessons in what goes in and what comes out, she can contact the Treasurer’s office. They are quite happy to tell her what is going in and what is going out of budgets. She can also have a lesson in how the budget papers are constructed. I am not going to fight Mrs Burke by having page numbers at 50 places.
MR GENTLEMAN: Can the minister for education quantify and explain the Stanhope Labor government’s commitment to education over the life of the government?
MS GALLAGHER: It gives me great pleasure to outline to the Assembly the Stanhope government’s commitment to Australia’s best education system, as recently demonstrated in the ACT budget of 2005-06. This ACT government has invested in the ACT education sector not only so that it maintains its place as the best education sector in the country but also so that education becomes the real bridge from disadvantage to greater opportunities and success in later life. We make no apologies for putting student equity at the top of our priorities, ensuring that we have a fair school system that distributes the education dollars to those with greatest need.
This government has always stressed that public education is not only about schools and classrooms but also about school communities, which provide ongoing support and