Page 519 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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plumbers who have taken on these apprentices and without whose support the program would not be a success.

Last November, I was also privileged to launch the CIT Vocational College, another innovation providing students with the opportunity to develop their essential skills while studying in areas that have a high demand for new employees, such as childcare, aged care, automotive, hairdressing and engineering. It also caters for those students who need some additional support to pursue their life goals.

While the federal Liberals failed for 11 years to invest in the skills of young Australians and young Canberrans—those opposite sat mute throughout this time—and while they were busy slashing wages and conditions, the only way that the federal Liberals and the Liberal Party thought they could create jobs was to slash wages and conditions. The toadies opposite cheered them on all the way through.

It is only now I notice that Mr Stefaniak goes cap in hand to a meeting with Unions ACT seeking to back away from all the positions that were advocated so strongly by those opposite. Their support of Work Choices, their support of slashing of conditions—

Mrs Burke: On a point of order: 118 (a), being precise and confined to the subject matter.

MR SPEAKER: The subject matter is apprenticeships. One of the attractions that Mr Barr pointed to of working in the motor industry is wages. He was pointing to the fall in wages for workers as one of the issues for the drop-off in apprenticeships, I thought. I think he is relevant. The minister’s time has expired.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Would the minister advise the Assembly about other steps the ACT Labor government is taking to ensure the future strength of the ACT economy and address skill shortages through education?

MR BARR: Those opposite do not like hearing it, but their record on skills, education and supporting the slashing of wages and conditions of Canberran and Australian workers stands condemned.

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I have already ruled on this point of order.

Mrs Dunne: No; this is a separate point of order. My point of order is that, when the minister answers a question, as far as possible he cannot mislead the Assembly by uttering untruths. He has said that we supported the cutting of wages—

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that.

Mrs Dunne: when the record shows—

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