Page 4513 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 November 2005

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within the community by Mr Omari’s public allegations—public allegations aired without briefing the police or the government or anybody else in Canberra. Not even the communities involved were taken into Mr Omari’s confidence. It concerns me gravely that the organisation that the Muslim communities of this town rely on to represent their interests—the multicultural council, the peak body representing diverse ethnic communities—is so lacking in confidence that they refuse to join it. That is intolerable, and the government will seek to mediate a result to that intolerable situation.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister’s time has expired.

Canberra Labor Club

MR STEFANIAK: My question is directed to the minister for gaming and racing. The Canberra Labor Club’s move to Petrie Plaza continues to raise questions. The first social impact statement lodged by the labor club with the racing and gaming commission was sent back for revision. A new one has now been lodged with the commission. But I am advised that the commission is making only part of the new social impact statement available and that, unless pressed—when the rest, in the form of attachments, will also be released—it will not do that. Is the minister aware of the reason the commission is reluctant to release the whole social impact statement, although it is required to do so by law?

MR QUINLAN: The short answer is no. We have a commission in whom I have the greatest confidence. I am sure that it is providing the same treatment to the potential Labor Club as it does to any other.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, will you make some inquiries and ensure that the labor club’s full social impact statement is available to all interested members of the public.

MR QUINLAN: Since you have asked, I will inquire as to whether there is any specific problem, because that is a fair question. For obvious reasons I would be concerned that this be handled in the most propitious way possible.


MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the minister for education. You touched on funding earlier in a response to Mrs Dunne. The federal minister for education recently suggested that state and territory governments had starved state schools of essential funding. Is this, in fact, the case?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. The federal minister has, as he does every year when he travels around with his whiteboard, claimed that state and territory payments to government schooling have not increased at a pace that he would like. His allegations are that they have not increased at the pace that the commonwealth investment in education has increased, which is simply incorrect. He does this every year. It is the same media release; he just changes the date at the top as he sends out the media release.

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