Page 128 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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rights and privileges of this place. The Liberal Party, of course, have completely abandoned them. We know why they have abandoned them.

My timing was unfortunate in that it precipitated this revolt which we have now seen and which essentially is terminal. We saw the results of that for Mrs Dunne and the unedifying spectacle of Mr Mulcahy scuttling around in the dust in the wake of Mrs Dunne’s skirts, to ensure that he, somehow, appears to be fresh, clean and untouched in this most unseemly undermining of his leader. That is what it is of course. I have to say, Mr Smyth, that I acknowledge, on your behalf, that it is perhaps the most brutal episode or example of disloyalty and undermining of a leader that I have experienced in my time in politics.

I have never, I do not think, experienced such an overtly brutal destruction of a leader and, indeed, of a party, to the point where we have Mr Stefaniak expressing shock and amazement that he is the only alternative and the only option for the party. Mr Stefaniak, I remember with great fondness those days when you and I were in the same firm at the Australian National University, Stefaniak and Stanhope. I look forward to going head to head with you in the future.

Mr Mulcahy: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: this trip down memory lane bears no relevance to the matter that was raised in the question. I ask you to ask the Chief Minister to return to the subject matter and complete his answer.

MR SPEAKER: I think the Chief Minister has finished.

Universities admission index

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the minister for education and is in regard to the universities admission index—UAI—scores awarded to ACT students. The minister would know well that, on average, kids from families with high incomes and good education usually do very well at getting into university and that Canberra people, compared to New South Wales as a whole, have significantly higher incomes and education. So you would expect that year 12 kids from right across Canberra would be getting university entrance scores much higher than the New South Wales-wide average, but it seems that Canberra kids who do not go to grammar, Narrabundah or Radford are actually getting fewer scores in the high 90s, which is the cut-off point for many scholarships and select university courses, than the New South Wales average and considerably less than students from Sydney’s North Shore, which is the area of New South Wales with the demographic closest to ours. Could the minister please advise the Assembly whether students going to the other colleges or senior high schools in Canberra are not taught as well as they would be in New South Wales or whether they are disadvantaged by the existing UAI scheme?

MS GALLAGHER: I think that the question has a bit of an historical basis in that a lot of correspondence has been going around the place from a person who is concerned about the way the current university index is working in the territory and has asked for further information. I understand that the Chief Minister, as acting minister whilst I was on leave, has written to the Board of Senior Secondary Studies seeking further information on some of the concerns which have been raised with us and which I think formed the basis of Dr Foskey’s question.

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