Page 984 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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MR SPEAKER: Is there a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Given that Mr Barr has—

Mr Seselja: That’ll be in a brochure.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Bresnan, please start again.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Given that Mr Barr has said we were apparently playing politics here, is the minister therefore saying that this was simply a political move on his part?

MR BARR: No, I was characterising the Greens’ response and their attempts to try and sail above this in some sort of pure form as being just a teeny bit political, and that the standards that apply on this side of the chamber and that apply on that side of the chamber might equally now apply to the crossbenches. If there is a lesson learnt, the approach that the Leader of the Opposition took in reserving his comment in relation to the planning aspects of this could well have been a useful thing. Fundamentally, though, I will give the Greens some credit: at least they were prepared ultimately, and when push came to shove in the federal Senate, to support this. I do acknowledge that, and I want to put again on the public record the thanks of the Labor Party and the thanks of every school community in the ACT to the Greens for their support in the federal Senate, and I do note—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! I can’t hear Mr Barr. Please continue.

MR BARR: I am sorry, Mr Speaker. You and I are both having trouble containing our poker faces at this point. But I would like again to put on record my thanks to the federal Greens for their support of the stimulus package. I note again, as I asked about it in the briefing today, that the Canberra Liberals have yet to even give an in-principle indication of their support for the education funding. I now look forward, as should every Canberra school community and every media outlet in Canberra, to a declared position from the Liberals and the Greens. From the Liberals, it is on the in-principle issue of whether they support the education funding and then on the second issue of whether they will support the government’s regulation. We acknowledge that the Greens support the education funding. Will the Greens move out of the way and ensure that we are able to deliver on the ground here in Canberra what their federal colleagues voted for in the Senate?

Economy—stimulus package

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in a report in the Canberra Times of 5 February 2009 you are quoted as saying that the proposed third appropriation bill is not being called a stimulus package “because we are too small to stimulate”. Treasurer, when did you become aware that the ACT economy was too small to stimulate?

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