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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 March 2009) . . Page.. 1171 ..

and every other member of this Assembly to ensure that this minister, acting on our behalf, provides the best possible service for our children. If we can do it in a non-combative way, that would be a great outcome for the children of the ACT. The more early intervention that we see, the better we will be able to do that job. That is my view.

I commend the minister for his response, but I hope that we will see the development of more programs, better targeted programs and more comprehensive information about the effectiveness of those programs in the years to come so that we can be sure that the substantial sums of money that we spend in this area are being delivered for the best outcome for our children.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Planning and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (11.10), in reply: I thank Ms Hunter and Mrs Dunne for their comments. I am pleased that in the broad they are supportive of the government’s response.

Mrs Dunne did seek to call me on a somewhat muted response to her placing me on notice. One would have to question if there is a spirit to work in a tripartisan way on these matters: statements like “placing the minister on notice” perhaps do not necessarily lend themselves to such a multiparty approach. Nonetheless, I will take at face value everything else that Mrs Dunne has said in her response today. I am happy to indicate to the chamber that I intend to deliver a ministerial statement in relation to the government’s forward agenda in this area next week.

Mrs Dunne: And we will get notice of that before half past one on the day?

MR BARR: Yes, and I will ensure that the shadow minister and the relevant Greens spokesperson are provided with an advance text of that ministerial statement for next week. We will then be able to discuss in some more detail down the track how we as an Assembly can respond to the many issues and the clearly increasing demand on government and non-government service providers in this area.

It would be remiss of me not to offer one final observation on Mrs Dunne’s comments in relation to legislative programs. I did have to smile a little that this is the state of the Liberal Party in 2009—that they judge their capacity and their contribution to public policy solely by the volume of legislation, not by anything at all about the quality of legislation. One might then ask or pose the question as to whether the more appropriate question would be “what piece of legislation has this place abolished; what greater freedoms have we sent to the citizens of the territory?”—if our goal is only to spend the rest of time forever accumulating more legislation. It does strike me as philosophically odd that a member who purports to represent the Liberal Party seeks to measure her output as a parliamentarian based only on the volume of legislation.

Mrs Dunne: I think he might be reflecting on a vote that has passed.

Mr Hanson: Andrew, you know that you haven’t brought enough forward.

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