Page 407 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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my electorate of Ginninderra. The Melba Copland campus has a student population of 900 students spread over two campuses, the high school campus and a separate college campus. The school is working very hard under the guidance of the principal, Michael Battenally, and deputy principals, Mary Arnold, Sharon Jasprizza and Jesse Sidhu, to provide a rich and balanced learning program that allows students to achieve and build upon their unique talents, skills and interests.

The school has a mission of fostering a supportive environment of respect, trust and intercultural understanding. Each student is encouraged and challenged to learn, grow and accomplish personal, academic, social and vocational excellence. I wish the MCSS board, the parents and citizens association, the student representative councils and all those who make financial contributions to the library trust all the best for their upcoming year. I would also like to commend Jane Tullis, who was the head of the P&C in 2011. I wish the students, staff and all of the Melba Copland school community a very successful 2012.

Mr Brendan Smyth

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Gaming and Racing) (6.29), in reply: I take this opportunity on the adjournment to respond to an earlier statement by Mr Smyth, who has again verballed people—but we know that from Mr Smyth. What I said in response to a question this morning was that I was disturbed to hear Mr Smyth’s comment on 2CC, the day after the decision, that the Canberra Liberals, if elected, would not fully fund the decision.

I made that statement because that was the interpretation I got from his comments on 2CC on 2 February, this month. It was an extensive interview because I do not think anyone can talk with Brendan Smyth quickly. There are always a good lot of words in whatever he has to say. But let us be clear:

… if we’re elected this year—

and this is a quote from Brendan Smyth—

that’s … one of the problems we would face, because what we’ve got is a budget that is in deficit … what we’ve got is a Government that has not diversified the ACT economy, so that we can have the resources and reserves so that when these issues arise, we can meet that need. So, that is certainly something we’ll have to discuss and work out how we will fund those over the coming years.

Question: “How would the Canberra Liberals fund the $27 million commitment?” Mr Smyth: “That might well be a problem that I might have in October this year.”

That, to me, is clearly Mr Smyth not giving a concrete commitment to the community sector, as this government has done, and as I would imagine the Greens would be seeking from people in this Assembly. I give Mr Smyth and the Canberra Liberals the opportunity to come to this place and give this chamber and the community sector an absolute guarantee that they will fund the community sector Fair Work Australia decision or to be honest and say they will not fully fund it.

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