Page 4330 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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Association and the Catholic Education Office; one that balances the variety of significant issues in this debate; one that is not a redneck response, like we have seen from the Liberal opposition in these amendments.

The Greens have raised a number of important issues in this debate that we believe are addressed in the variety of student support programs that are in place and in taking this measured and balanced approach.

We believe in greater flexibility for principals. We have discussed this matter at length with the Principals Association and reached this position, which we believe is the sensible, moderate, middle-ground position that will enable greater flexibility for principals, but also balance the issues.

Mr Doszpot: Why not join the other jurisdictions on this, Andrew?

MR BARR: I think in response to that particular interjection it is worth noting that the ACT is different from larger jurisdictions in that we have a smaller education system, a smaller number of schools, which means that the Chief Executive of the Education Department and the director of the Catholic Education Office can work closely with principals in their respective systems and that this is about striking a balance.

It is about striking a balance and, for all of the bleating of those opposite and all of their simplistic, poorly thought out amendments that leave many questions unanswered, the fundamental question the Liberal Party will have to confront sometime later this afternoon is whether they will support this bill or not. Their amendments will not be supported by the government and it would appear will not be supported by the Greens. So the threshold position will be for the Liberal Party, are they going to support the government’s bill or not?

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.33 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, given you have said that the purchase of the Calvary Hospital will be made from existing cash reserves, what will be the impact on the ACT government’s cash flow?

MS GALLAGHER: That is dependent on a whole range of decisions that are open to governments to make every year through the budget process. As members would know—and I do not have the exact details, as they were published in the budget in front of me—we have got accumulated cash surpluses over the forward estimates period. In fact, that has just recently been recognised by Standard & Poor’s in their reaffirming of the AAA credit rating for the ACT government’s budget. So the cash transaction as proposed and as detailed in the discussion paper outlined to the community and released a couple of weeks ago has a cash impact of $68 million. Of

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