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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 270 ..

MR STANHOPE: The answer is no.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question from Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: That was a masterly intervention, Mr Speaker. Thank you for that. Chief Minister, are you truly embarrassed by the failure of your ministers and your ministers’ spokesmen over 2004 and 2005 to come clean with the community about your government’s plan to close schools?

MR STANHOPE: I am not a bit embarrassed by any of my ministers or by their performance. Indeed, after three days of sittings this week, any objective dispassionate observer of proceedings in this Assembly would actually understand why I would not have any embarrassment. Indeed, in the context of comparisons that it is simply impossible not to make in terms of calibre and capacity between my colleagues and those on the opposition benches—

Mr Pratt: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister is way off message in terms of the question. He is gallivanting on another drama. Could he come to the substance of the question?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, Mrs Dunne asked the Chief Minister whether he is embarrassed. He is informing the Assembly why he is not embarrassed. It is pretty straightforward.

MR STANHOPE: I think actually the reason that I am not embarrassed was just encapsulated in that little performance by Mr Pratt. I do not have a tinge of embarrassment and never will.

Mrs Burke: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker, under standing order 118 (a). Can the Chief Minister give a concise answer, please?

MR STANHOPE: My case continues to be made.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! I will not tolerate points of order which are meant to upset the speaking rights of members. The Chief Minister was answering a reasonable question: was he embarrassed? He is explaining why he is not.

MR STANHOPE: The case continues to be made for me as we progress down the conga line. I await the typical and now to be expected brittle response from a very brittle and fragile Leader of the Opposition in relation to any suggestion that he might not actually have a grasp of things. I have no embarrassment at all. I am proud of our performance. I think that my pride will continue to grow as the year progresses.

Schools—proposed schools authority

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the minister for education. Can the minister please update for the Assembly his proposal for an ACT Schools Authority?

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