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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 February 2009) . . Page.. 977 ..

This package will deliver new and upgraded libraries, classrooms and new gymnasiums—better places to learn for our students and better places for our teachers to teach.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: Here we go! We see it time and time again—the catcalls and interjections from the opposition that give further evidence to their true views on investment in schools in the territory. They cannot even sit for 30 seconds through any question in relation to this matter.

This package from the commonwealth will continue to build on ACT Labor’s and the Labor Party’s record investment in schools in the territory. ACT Labor is investing $350 million in our schools. The commonwealth is now proposing a further $230 million investment in ACT schools, and all ACT schools are eligible for this funding. It must be remembered, despite all of the political hurly-burly, that this funding, this money, is about our schools and our students. It is also about strengthening our economy and keeping Canberrans in jobs in the wake of the current global economic crisis.

As the Prime Minister has put it, we are in uncharted and unprecedented times. That is why this package cannot wait and that is why our schools cannot wait—because the economy cannot wait. That is why the commonwealth has set such stringent deadlines in relation to this package. Indeed, the commonwealth’s guidelines state that we are obligated to “ensure that the design, application and assessment processes—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Barr, one moment, please.

Mr Coe: Have you checked the correspondence on it, Jon?

Mr Stanhope: I’m not sure what you are referring to.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Coe and Mr Stanhope, we are in the middle of Mr Barr’s response here. If you want to take further questions, take the opportunity when it arises.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and I repeat, for those who were not paying attention, that the commonwealth guidelines for this program state that we are obliged to ensure the design, application and assessment processes for the projects are fast-tracked, with minimal red tape. They further state that, to ensure that the building education revolution has the greatest impact on job support—

Mr Hanson: It’s the building revolution!

MR BARR: Building the education revolution—it is essential that construction on as many projects as possible commences quickly. Projects which are unable to

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