Page 1194 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2009

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The economy here remains strong. Anyone in this place who challenges that is wrong. The economy remains strong. The national accounts have us in a technical recession, but the economy remains strong and we have a challenge here to respond to what we are seeing around the world and around the country. We have an opportunity to respond. That is what we need to be doing. That is what we are doing with the second appropriation and the third appropriation, and when we release our budget you will see our third response.

That is what we need to be doing at the moment—not talking it down, not talking recession, not reducing the community’s confidence. We are trying to urge the community to increase their expenditure, to spend and to invest in their community. It does not help when you have the opposition trying to make politics out of this situation.

It is what we expect from you, but rise to the challenge. Face up to the responsibilities that we have in this place to support our community.

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question was about the Chief Minister’s comments about how the commonwealth cuts would not have an impact on the economy. The Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer is not directly answering the question. It is not directly relevant to the question.

MR SPEAKER: Yes. Treasurer, come back to the question.

MS GALLAGHER: The Chief Minister has been up at that house almost every week urging the commonwealth government to ensure that their responses in their budget take into account the interests of the ACT community. What have you guys done to protect the interests of the ACT community in the last 12 months? Nothing, zero, zip, apart from having stupid election commitments like reducing revenue and imposing arbitrary savings which will never be delivered. That is your response.

This Chief Minister has always urged the commonwealth to understand the disproportionate effect that decisions they take have on the ACT community. We will continue to push that with our colleagues up on the hill. That is what a responsible government would do in terms of defending the interests of their local community. That is what this Chief Minister does. That is what I do. That is what every minister in this government does. We look forward to the day that you join us in that approach.

Schools—league tables

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. It concerns comparison of like schools to provide analysis of system performance and the information being manipulated by the media and other third parties to form league tables. Minister, I note that 15 of the nation’s peak education bodies have written to all Australian education ministers pleading for legislative protection from school league tables. Will you give an assurance that legislative action will be taken to prohibit the creation and publication of league tables flowing from the collection of student and school performance data?

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