Page 1736 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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MR DOSZPOT: I apologise, Mr Assistant Speaker. I raise the point that the Chief Minister in the first part of her amendments just wants to rewrite history. My motion is not even talking about the specifics, just the fact of what occurred at the COAG meeting and that no jurisdiction, including the ACT, was prepared to agree to the multi-billion dollar joint funding agreement, and since then only one state has signed up. The Chief Minister does not like that. She wants that omitted. I do not know what part of it is wrong or inaccurate, and I would very much like to hear from the Chief Minister what is so objectionable about that point and why she wants it omitted.

Then our motion calls on the Chief Minister to: (a) release the details of the funding offer or offers provided to ACT schools; (b) advise the Assembly what financial and any other implications acceptance of the offer will have for ACT schools; (c) table the financial modelling that was required to determine the ACT government’s position, including the cost implications for the ACT government in the forward years; (d) outline where the funding across the forward estimates will come from; (e) give a guarantee that indexation is included in any forward estimate so that no school in the ACT—government or non-government—will lose a dollar in real terms as a result of these reforms; and (f) ensure the ACT is not disadvantaged compared to the other states.

All of those are fairly standard and logical questions and issues that we want to put to the government to make the government accountable. Not one of those points is deemed acceptable by this Chief Minister or this government or the Green coalition partner. We used to think in the years of the previous Assembly that the Greens were here to keep the government accountable. They were the third-party insurance for the community, but that has totally disappeared. That is only a figment of someone’s imagination these days. The fact that Labor have refused to support any parts of our motion suggests to me that they either do not know where the money is coming from or they are ashamed that they have been blindsided by their own side of politics.

Gonski wanted all of the nation’s 3.5 million students in all Australian schools to receive a simple minimum schooling resource standard topped up by loadings for children from disadvantaged or Indigenous backgrounds and for those with a disability. We know the ACT government has funded government schools above the national average for some years while ACT non-government schools have been amongst the lowest funded jurisdiction. Our motion is trying to provide some clarity around the future. The government’s amendments make sure we do not get that assurance. I guess we should be grateful to the Chief Minister that she is prepared to tell the Assembly, albeit well after the event, what will be agreed to, but I suspect we will read it in the media before then. But at least we have that commitment. On that basis, we cannot accept the government’s amendments supported by the Greens because they are, quite simply, meaningless.

In closing the debate on this motion I thank all those who have contributed to the debate. I thank Mr Rattenbury for at least acknowledging our concerns about the impost universities will face to fund these changes, although he is not concerned enough to support our motion. It quite simply asks for open government, which

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