Page 3652 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 27 October 2015

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few years ago, was a very fresh education minister, claimed a series of mistruths about me. When it was proven that he was wrong and deceitful in what he said, he refused to apologise, despite the instruction of the Assembly to do so.

I have to give credit where credit is due. It was Mr Rattenbury as Speaker then, in the days before he sold out to this government, before he became so beholden to this government that nothing else seems to matter to him now, who actually called on Mr Barr to apologise for the mistruths that he had spoken—mistruths which, outside this Assembly, would be called lies, of course.

Mr Barr did not believe that he needed to be accountable then. He did not apologise. It is a minor matter, but when he brings up code of conduct matters, as he did a few minutes ago, he was the MLA who presented the most shameful example of a need for a code of conduct for MLAs in this Assembly. Of course, that MLA is now Chief Minister, and his actions have not changed.

Take, for example, the recent community angst amongst families in the Manuka area. There would not be one person in the Telopea Park School community, none associated with Mocca, and no doubt not many if any from the Canberra Services Club, who would believe that the government have acted in an open and transparent way in their decision to take school land for commercial gain, shaft a not-for-profit organisation that has enjoyed great success in delivering childcare services for over 40 years, and leave in limbo our ex-services community.

There was no transparency in any of that exercise, and even today there is no certainty for any of the groups I have mentioned. The education minister refused to go into bat for one of her own schools, and, with a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, made the school feel that if it did not go quietly it would not get the supposedly very generous funds to build unnecessary new courts on an already overcrowded playground. So this is still government transparency!

As for the Canberra Services Club and why they could not rebuild on their old site, even though there were reports in the paper that suggested they could and would like to, Mr Barr told us during the estimates process that they just could not, but that we would just have to wait and see what he had in mind for their old site. Today in question time Mr Barr was still obfuscating about what he really said and what he really meant.

Of course, Telopea Park School is not the only victim of Minister Burch’s lack of consultation. We all know the appalling, almost dismissive way she has handled the drawn-out affair of the boy in a cage. Each time we have sought answers on this issue, she has huffed and puffed and claimed that we are causing grief to the family concerned. We are actually trying to get to the bottom of what is causing this family grief and what is causing this community grief, minister. We want you to answer some questions. The community wants you to answer some questions.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Dr Bourke): Mr Doszpot, please direct your remarks to the chair.

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