Page 3316 - Week 10 - Friday, 26 August 2005

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

If we can get people young enough, we can change some of those things or add to them in the particular area of education and the range of learning difficulties, for example, that we know some of these people have. I think that money would have gone an awfully long way. When government members say that the opposition are bereft of ideas, I would have to say that is simply not true. More often than not I try to come forward with a positive and practical solution; I do not have to bag and carp for the sake of it. While I have every respect for the people on the community inclusion board and fund, I simply believe that we could have spent this money much better.

For example, the centre in Western Australia combines a range of services including visiting teachers, students with disabilities; support officer, learning difficulties team; school of the air support officer, learning difficulties team; visiting teacher, autism intervention team; support officer, speech and language team; visiting teacher, assistive technology team; and specialised resources, equipment and assistive technology via a resource library and production unit. The sum of $8.5 million is a lot of money. I do not know that we really investigated fully, with the many plans that are out there, the options we have to spend that amount of money, to come up with a range of approaches such as we see here, to make a real difference in peoples’ lives at a young age. I think we should consider all options and all opportunities. We need to investigate further.

When we look at inclusion, are we sometimes setting people up for exclusion rather than inclusion? People have to compete for this money but many are disappointed. Many do get the money; I understand that, but we are seeing a truckload of people applying for this money. I think somebody in this place—and I am not sure I wholly agree with it but in part I do—said it is like competitive misery. People are going to miss out. We need something like this centre, that would be able to cover and cater for a large number of people. I make the suggestion to the government that perhaps they look at things like this for the future. It is certainly something that I and the Liberal opposition will be looking at.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 10.52 am until Tuesday, 20 September 2005, at 10.30 am.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .