Page 5841 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Ms Hunter. Mr Doszpot, please address the matter at hand.

MR DOSZPOT: Thank you, Madam Assistant Speaker. I said that Ms Hunter has tried to put forward support for this motion. By changing the words which we criticise Ms Hunter thinks that the motion can be fully qualified. The single word changes you have suggested, Ms Hunter, do nothing more than justify what we said about the fact that this motion is so far off the mark that it does not bear any more talking about, quite frankly.

I referred before to the rhetoric from the former minister for education, trying to justify the way that teachers feel about what this government has done for them. This motion from the government looks at patting its own back, and the Greens have added to that pat on the back by saying what a wonderful job this government has done. I am surprised, disappointed—but in the end, I am just absolutely confounded—that the Greens will not stand up for the fact that this government has misrepresented something. The education profession will certainly have a lot to say about that.

It does not matter how much obfuscation, it does not matter how much misrepresentation, there is, so long as it comes from the government side the Greens feel it is worth agreeing with it. If the Greens want to push these rather strange amendments that they have put and this is the way they are going to go, there is not much more I can add. I am disappointed in this whole exercise and I am disappointed with the Greens’ attitude on this, yet again.

Amendments agreed to.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.04): I thank members for their contribution to the debate. Once again I am disappointed by Mr Doszpot, who dismissed the motion in such a high-handed manner. It is a pity that at the end of the educational year he misses the opportunity to agree with a motion which seeks to recognise the significant contribution of teachers in the ACT.

I thank Ms Hunter for her support and her affirmation of the important role of our teachers. I agree that teachers do not knock off at 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon on any school day and they are often engaged in professional development during times when children and young people are on holidays. This is true of teachers everywhere in the nation. I can confirm this, as my daughter-in-law and my sister are teachers in two other states. Teachers are committed members of our community, committed to their job. This has always been the case in my experience. This is why this government has put in place and is putting in place important measures to further quality teaching in the ACT. This is why the commonwealth is working with states and territories to achieve very important reforms. Of course there is always much work to be done, as Ms Hunter just said.

I thank Mr Hanson for his positive contribution. I am sure all of us in this place could stand up and list a number of teachers who deserve our personal thanks for their efforts in supporting our children or our grandchildren.

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