Page 3119 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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She welcomed the additional resources in literacy and numeracy, but in addressing general classroom needs she very much welcomed the additional money to employ specialist teachers. She welcomed the fact that the government has identified a significant decline in achievement in our brighter students, and the P&C council is encouraged to see that the government has provided funding to address the needs of gifted and talented students.

On the capital works side of this budget, it is worth noting the fine efforts of the Department of Education and Training to significantly achieve on their capital works budget. If you look back over the last decade, the average capital works spend in a year required by that department has been in the order of $20 million a year. This coming financial year, 2009-10, the capital works spend, combining the ACT government and commonwealth government funding, is in the order of $200 million, so 10 times the average amount of capital works expenditure. It is a massive program of investment in our schools.

The ACT Department of Education and Training has delivered a new school in this territory every year since I have been education minister. I am pretty impressed with the work that that department has done, and looking forward to 2009-10, 2010-11 and beyond we will see new schools delivered in Gungahlin, Gungahlin College; Harrison high school and, of course, the new P-10 school in Kambah.

Mr Smyth: Your 10 minutes are up.

Mr Hanson: Your 10 minutes are more than up.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): I missed this; I am sorry, minister. The Clerk has pointed out that your 10 minutes have expired.

Mr Hanson: Ten minutes ago.

Mr Barr: So I haven’t had a clock?

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I thought the terms of the agreement in the resolution for tonight was that he would have 10 minutes.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (12.20 am): It is disappointing that the government cannot even live within the terms of its own gag order. I will speak for a couple of minutes because I think that is all we have got now. The minister talks about tough decisions but he does not mention that they were dishonest. It is not a tough decision to hide things in an election, to lie about your intentions and then to turn around and break an election promise as fundamental as not closing schools.

We saw, indeed, an attitude there. The pejorative term that Mr Barr used, the blazer schools, refers to a lot of schools in Canberra; it is not just high-fee schools. There are

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