Page 638 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 11 February 2009

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guarantee that the residential construction costs will not increase as a result of the new capital works program?

MS GALLAGHER: My answer to the question is that all the indicators at the moment are that prices are decreasing, wages are decreasing, CPI is decreasing—

Mr Coe: But what is the effect of the stimulus package on it?

MS GALLAGHER: No, Mr Coe, I will not be giving that undertaking. I am not in a position to do it. I have answered your question as honestly as I can at this point in time.

Economy—stimulus package

MS PORTER: My question, through you, Mr Speaker, is to the minister for education. Would the minister advise the Assembly of the steps he is taking to ensure that ACT students will benefit from the federal Labor government’s stimulus package?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her interest in education matters. I note immediately—

Mrs Dunne: And her improved capacity in drafting questions.

MR BARR: I have been on my feet for less than 10 seconds and our armchair cynic is already in action.

Ms Gallagher: She is a very hard task master.

MR BARR: She is a very hard task master, as you say.

Mr Hargreaves: All the way from the Muppets, did you say?

MR BARR: She is not sitting up the back, Statler and Waldorf style. She has progressed forward as others have fallen away.

Importantly, the implementation of the stimulus package in the ACT will fall, in the largest part, in the education sector. As we have discussed already in this place today, there will be a considerable amount of capital works that will be undertaken within the ACT school system should this package pass the Senate. It is important that we are able to progress that work effectively.

Some support from the ACT Liberals in this matter would be useful. Again, I take the opportunity to invite the Leader of the Opposition to pick up the phone to Mr Turnbull. The package could be passed today and we could get on with the work of providing the information.

Mr Hargreaves: Does Brendan know Julie Bishop?

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