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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 September 2015) . . Page.. 3339 ..

These are words; they are empty, hollow words. They are lacking in reality; they are lacking in real and determined efforts to make change. If your change is simply a workshop, I think you have serious trouble. What we need is a minister who will take charge and try and change things. If this one does not, the Chief Minister should consider removing her. We see in so many of the portfolios this minister is in charge of where there is problem after problem after problem. We have had them in ACT Fire & Rescue and know that in the State Emergency Service there was an opportunity for an open process but, no, we had transfer at level. We know in education we have had troubles with this minister. We know in multiculturalism there were troubles with this minister, and the litany goes on.

This, members, is an insult. This statement tabled today is an insult. It is an insult to the great men and women of the ACT Ambulance Service who do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances in looking after our needs at our most desperate times. When you call an ambulance, it is a serious event. We know through the defibrillation debacle that so much additional and unnecessary pressure was put on our paramedics. It should never happen. They should have clear heads. They should not be fearful of the workplace. Work should be a joy to come to because you join that sort of service because you want to make a difference. Why is it in 2015 that the ACT Labor government under Andrew Barr and Joy Burch cannot deliver a workplace that enhances what these people do instead of making them more fearful?

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Higher education sector

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lawder): Madam Speaker has received letters from Dr Bourke, Mr Coe, Ms Fitzharris, Mr Hanson, Mrs Jones, Ms Lawder, Mr Smyth and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Dr Bourke be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of working closely with Canberra’s higher education sector.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (3.56): I rise to talk on the importance of working closely and collaboratively with the ACT’s higher education sector. Canberra’s higher education and research institutions, such as the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the University of New South Wales Canberra, as well as NICTA—National Information Communications Technology Australia, CSIRO—the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and organisations such as Geoscience Australia are coming to define Canberra as the knowledge capital of Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Recent world ranking results have reinforced that our universities are going from strength to strength. The ANU has risen to be amongst the top 20 universities in the world, competing with the likes of Yale and MIT. UC also improved its standing on the rankings, moving into the 551-600 band from its former position in the 651-700 band—a dramatic leap, and a validation of the hard work and vision of Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker.

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