Page 3500 - Week 08 - Thursday, 18 August 2011

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Australians, and we need to get it right, because the system we have does not work and the solution is a costly one.

It was pleasing to hear our Chief Minister offer her support for the scheme on local ABC radio last week:

At the end of the day, whether you have a disability in Kaleen or a disability in Queanbeyan, it doesn’t really make a huge amount of difference. You need the support, you need those dollars, and if you want to move around, you need those dollars to follow you.

Absolutely, Chief Minister. But why does that not apply to special needs education, and especially here in Canberra? Her comments go completely against the current disability benefits systems within the education system that, as Chief Minister, she oversees, which differ hugely between government and non-government schools and which are not fully portable if the student moves between sectors. It is the very reason why the Canberra Liberals called for non-government schools to be included in the Shaddock review into ACT special education, which education minister Andrew Barr was begrudgingly forced to do. I call on the ministers for disability and for education and their respective departments to be more interactive and responsive with the community.

I also want to stress the fact that the reason I am calling for the ministers to act closely together and in concert on some of these issues that involve both disability and education is that I still get far too many calls from frustrated and at times distraught parents who are reaching desperation levels and who feel they are not getting a fair hearing from this government.

I support—indeed all Canberra Liberals support—improved services for people with a disability. But you have to be just a little bit frightened about the capacity of the Labor Party, both ACT and federal, to fund and manage these very important areas.

Leave of absence

Motion (by Mrs Dunne) agreed to:

That leave of absence be granted to Mr Hanson for this sitting due to illness.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 30 June 2011, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.12): The opposition will support this bill, which is in the form of omnibus legislation to amend laws administered by the Justice and Community Safety Directorate. In the event, this bill is quite important because it directly addresses a range of matters which have come forward in recent times. It might even be argued that the amendments give effect to new policy. But on this

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