Page 4764 - Week 15 - Tuesday, 13 December 2005

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apparatchik who has been commissioned by countless federal government departments to provide the government with the answers it wants to hear.

Like their colleagues on the hill, Dr Donnelly is a pin-up boy for those opposite. His writings have no doubt inspired today’s MPI. Mr Pratt suggested in this place on 22 September that Dr Donnelly is well qualified to speak in the arena of education, with the ludicrous claim being made that his book has been well received across this country. Mr Pratt should check because Dr Donnelly has not been well received by the education community.

Mrs Dunne often comes into this place and accuses the education minister of being a hippie and a child of the 1960s, despite the fact that I have it on good authority that she was born in the 1970s, which has an eerie similarity to Dr Donnelly’s writings. For example in a recent piece in he suggested:

The 1960s and 1970s were not only about Woodstock, Vietnam moratoriums and flower power. At the same time, education became a key battleground in the Left’s attempt to take over the commanding heights of the nation’s culture.

Mr Speaker, it is pretty obvious where Mrs Dunne gets her inspiration from for speeches on education. Here we have another case, like the Gerard affair, of a Liberal Party stooge receiving government appointments. In return, Dr Donnelly has earned and expended significant taxpayer moneys for the federal government to score cheap political points.

Dr Donnelly is a former chief of staff of federal Minister Kevin Andrews and continues to seek preselection for the Liberal Party. Dr Donnelly has also been discredited for creating an antismoking program funded by those great antismokers Philip Morris, the tobacco company. Most recently, he completed a report for Brendan Nelson into curriculum across the country but did not even bother to read the relevant ACT documents before compiling his report.

Like Mrs Dunne, Brendan Nelson does not run a single school, not one, does not employ a single teacher and does not educate a single student. However, they are both willing to talk down the achievements of hardworking teachers and students across the country because state government electors round the country have entrusted Labor governments with running their schools, hospitals and urban infrastructure. As long as the Liberal Party continues to try to play politics with our children’s futures, I have no doubt that trend will continue.

We need only to look at the way Mrs Dunne has handled the Ginninderra high school debate to see how education is misused by Liberal Party politicians for political gain. Mrs Dunne’s office has been advising constituents regarding the proposed building of a new school in west Belconnen. She and her office have been directing constituents to lists of web sites that apparently provide authoritative evidence on middle schooling.

Four of the web sites suggested are American. They have little relevance to the model used in the ACT and the rest of Australia for P to 10 schools with middle schooling. None of the information refers to the ACT or even Australian experiences of P to 10 and middle schooling. Only one of the four American articles listed by Mrs Dunne even references an Australian study, and that is 25 years old, long before the successful

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