Page 2241 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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completely blacked out in relation to Bruce Stadium there was an executive involvement in the decision to release documents to me that were completely blacked out.

If they put the position to me: why don’t you intervene in the freedom of information process, then I assume that they believe that that was appropriate behaviour and that that was the sort of behaviour which they engaged in in government and will engage in in the future.

Education and training

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Would the minister advise the steps the Stanhope government is taking through education to tackle local impacts of the national skill shortage. Is the minister aware of any alternative policies?

MR SPEAKER: The minister is not responsible for alternative policies.

Mrs Dunne: He can be aware of them.

MS PORTER: I asked him if he was aware.

MR SPEAKER: You can only ask him questions about areas of responsibility within his area of administration. The minister can respond to the question.

MR BARR: Again I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing interest in matters of education and training. Members may be aware of an article in today’s Canberra Times entitled “So many jobs ACT can’t fill them”. This article describes the ACT as the only state or territory where there are more jobs on offer than people available to fill them.

On one level, this is a very good thing. It is an indication of confidence in our local economy, an indication of confidence in the economic management of this government. But, as economically literate members would be aware—I exclude the Liberal Party from this as they expelled the only economically literate member they had—this represents a significant challenge for ACT businesses. To grow, a business needs skilled people, and we do not have enough of them in the ACT at the moment.

Why is this so, as Professor Sumner Miller was known to ask? It is because the Liberals, at both the federal and the local level, simply do not believe in investing in skills.

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! There are several conversations going on in the chamber and it is making it impossible for the Assembly to hear the answer from the minister.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to go on and remind those opposite that the federal Liberal Party, their brothers and sisters up on the hill, under-invested

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