Page 3645 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 26 August 2009

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are seeing benefits across the ACT education system—new classrooms, new computers and new libraries in all schools. We will see more benefits to come with the range of policy initiatives that both the territory and federal governments are pursuing.

It is around pursuing an agenda to improve teacher quality, to reward our best classroom teachers with $100,000 salaries to get better results in all schools. If there are a couple of words that would sum up the government’s approach to education across all schools, it is that everybody learns in the government system and the non-government system. Everybody learns. That is the great threat to the conservatives in the Liberal Party, and we are seeing these changes occurring now. It means the old politics of smear and fear, of divide and conquer just do not work anymore, not in this city and not in this century. Parents have moved on, children have moved on. The reason Mr Doszpot is in the hole he is in and moving the motion he is this morning is—

Mrs Dunne: Because you lied.

MR BARR: He has not moved on. That is the bottom line. I had a simple proposal.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, Mrs Dunne has to be told to withdraw. She actually said, “Because you lied.”

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, this is a substantive motion about the fact that the minister for education has misled the Assembly, and I do not think that I should need to withdraw. This is at the heart of the substantive motion.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, I would ask that you withdraw the assertion. I do not think that even in a substantive motion that is the standard that we want to set in the Assembly.

Mrs Dunne: I withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Barr, the floor is yours.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I was saying, the bottom line in this debate is that the community has moved on from the public versus private debate. I had a simple proposal to improve teaching and learning for students with a disability, and Mr Doszpot could not stand it. So what did he do? He went completely over the top and accused me of breaching the human rights of kids in non-government schools. Why? Because the old public-private debate is his only idea in education. It is all about flicking the scab. It is hopeless; it is embarrassing; it is old school; it is out of touch.

This debate today is more about who wrote what and when. But it should be about our plan for the future and the Liberals’ obsession with the past. That is why the Assembly should reject this censure. It is pointless; it is meaningless. Mr Doszpot can clarify the situation by clarifying Liberal Party policy. That is all he needs to do. That is all this debate is about. He does not like my characterisation of Liberal Party policy.

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