Page 520 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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MR SPEAKER: The imputation—

Mrs Dunne: when the record shows—

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, if you want to move a motion about Mr Barr’s behaviour in the chamber, feel free to do so in accordance with the standing orders, but you cannot impute that somebody has misled the Assembly by raising it as a point of order. I ask you to withdraw that.

Mrs Dunne: What are you asking me to withdraw?

MR SPEAKER: The imputation that Mr Barr has misled the Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: I withdraw the imputation. But, Mr Speaker, do you have any ruling to make on the fact that, when a minister answers a question, he may not imply that certain things are the case when the record shows that they are the opposite? For instance, he said that we had overseen a fall in wages when in fact the historical evidence—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mrs Dunne—

Mrs Dunne: shows that there has been an increase in wages.

MR SPEAKER: This is getting to the point where this is a spurious point of order, but let me say this: it is not for me to judge the quality of a minister’s answers; it is for this house to judge those and deal with them in accordance with the standing orders. Mr Barr is given five minutes to answer questions which are raised by other members in this place; provided he sticks to the subject matter of the question, he can proceed.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. They do not like hearing this.

MR SPEAKER: It was not about whether they liked hearing it or not, so come back to the subject matter.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The record of those opposite on skills, education and industrial relations and the important links that are contained within those three areas stands to be condemned. It is no wonder they are back-pedalling.

It is clear that the key to a strong economy and a vibrant and tolerant society is education, and the key to ensuring that each individual has the best chance to lead a happy and productive life in making a contribution to our economy and our society is education and training. We on this side of the chamber know this.

Judging by the lack of policy coming from the opposition, particularly the new spokesperson on education, it is clear that there is only one party for education and training in the ACT, and that is the Australian Labor Party. We on this side know that studies have positively demonstrated the effect of not only good early childhood education but lifelong learning through a range of educational and training opportunities.

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