Page 2081 - Week 06 - Thursday, 7 May 2009

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opposed any form of micro-economic reform. Then you go more broadly, Mr Speaker. They have opposed reform for the taxi industry. They opposed reform to the hire car industry. In each and every area of significant micro-economic reform the Liberal Party have shown themselves to be intellectually bankrupt.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! Mr Barr.

MR BARR: They are happy to—

MR SPEAKER: You might come back to the question, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: The question was about micro-economic reform. He did mention that specifically in the question.

Mr Seselja: It was on costs, actually.

MR BARR: He did. He did mention that, Mr Speaker. In wrapping up my answer, I again make the very clear point that my comments in relation to school boards were about providing parents with a small payment, and that would be a matter for each individual school to determine from within their own budgets. That was made clear in the Canberra Times article as well—that it might broaden participation if things like childcare costs were able to be claimed by some parents who might find that a barrier to their participation on a school board and that that matter should be considered as part of the review.

If the opposition disagree with that policy position, let them say that now. Let them say it loud and clear. If they want to put barriers in front of parents’ participation on school boards, let them say that now.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank the education minister for his answer. Minister, could you outline to us why it has become necessary and what has led to parents in the last couple of years in particular no longer volunteering as much for school boards?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Seselja for the supplementary question. At this point I commend the Treasurer for the fact that after one day the opposition are already off the budget. Congratulations, Treasurer, on an outstanding rebuttal of each of the opposition’s claims. After one day, the Leader of the Opposition cannot even ask questions on the budget.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Barr! Mr Seselja has asked you a straight question. I expect a straight answer.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Members would be aware, in that same Canberra Times article, of comments by the Principals Association representative,

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