Page 3586 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 25 August 2009

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We have streamlined the planning system and worked with the commonwealth to ensure that every ACT student and every ACT tradie can get the maximum benefit from Labor’s building the education revolution package. I refer particularly to shared campuses, such as the Amaroo and Good Shepherd schools, and the Gold Creek school and the Holy Spirit school, that are working well together in sharing playing space, libraries and even swapping tips between staff.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister advise of any community reaction to the government’s measures?

MR BARR: I am aware of a range of community views. Unfortunately, there are six members of the community who have very unsavoury views—unsavoury views based on the doctrine of opposition for opposition’s sake. Like Harry Truman so famously said, “I don’t give them hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s hell.”

The government’s aspirations for the non-government sector are simple: that the sector is fully independent and that it is fairly funded. Whilst this is Labor’s policy, it is clearly not the policy of the Canberra Liberals. The six members that sit opposite are party to Mr Doszpot’s plan to use the Human Rights Act to impose his will on non-government schools in the ACT.

The moment that I announced Professor Shaddock’s appointment to conduct a review of leading practice, curriculum and pedagogy for the range of students with a disability in ACT public schools, Mr Doszpot was negative—opposition for opposition’s sake. First, Mr Doszpot said it was outrageous that there was allegedly no extra money for students with a disability. Accept, then, that Mr Doszpot and his five colleagues went on to vote against additional funding for students with a disability by voting against the ACT budget. They voted against additional funding for students with a disability by voting against the ACT budget.

The politics did not stop there. Mr Doszpot demanded that non-government schools be forced to comply with the Human Rights Act and be compelled to participate in the review. His media statement on 30 April 2009 stated very clearly:

The ACT Human Rights Act 2004 applies to all students with a disability, not just the government sector.

The obvious point to make here is that Mr Doszpot says the Human Rights Act means the government must view curriculum and pedagogy for students in non-government schools if the government reviews curriculum and pedagogy for students in government schools. That is what he said. It is there in black and white. It is in his media release and that is what he meant. That is exactly what he meant. That is why I have made it abundantly clear that the government opposes any suggestions—

Mrs Dunne: You’re a twisting liar. You lied and you’ve lied again here.

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