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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2016) . . Page.. 1079 ..


Mr Rattenbury: Congratulations.

MR HANSON: Thank you, Mr Rattenbury. I would like to point out that there are people on this side—all of us—who support the university and we support education. That is not the debate here. The Chief Minister is attempting to conflate the issues. One is to do with development and joint ventures that the university will take part in, and the laws that were passed last year which I referred to, which were about building a suburb at the University of Canberra and entering into a whole bunch of commercial arrangements. That is not about education, Mr Barr. It is about development, it is about joint ventures and it is about business, ultimately, for the University of Canberra. What we are discussing here will not have any impact on the educational outcomes at the University of Canberra.

I am very disappointed in the Chief Minister. As is becoming his form, rather than deal with the substance of the issue, and if somebody disagrees with him, his response is to vilify and attack. I note that this has become a bit of a pattern. In his speech last week on the state of the territory, that was the form: divide, attack and alienate. Indeed ACTCOSS made the public statement in response to that speech that they were not keen at all on the generation divide and conflict being spruiked by Andrew Barr in the state of the territory address. That public statement was then forwarded on by others, including being retweeted by the Youth Coalition. I have received numerous indications that that statement last week was an alienating speech, that it was deliberately divisive and that it attacked people rather than trying to bring people together.

My point is that if we are going to have a debate about substantive issues to do with a very important institution in this town, let us not just revert to high school bullying techniques that we see from Andrew Barr. Instead of having a substantive debate, he sends out little tweets to try to conflate it into something separate. That is what we are seeing here today. But I stick by the comments I made throughout my in-principle stage contribution. We will not be supporting this schedule. It is the wrong way to go. But that does not negate our support for education or for the University of Canberra, despite the rhetoric that we hear from the Chief Minister.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.48): What an extraordinary exercise in the pot calling the kettle black coming from the Leader of the Opposition. I will make one very important point. The Leader of the Opposition, who appears obsessed by development partnerships, completely misses the point as to what these regulations and changes will achieve. I point to a recent example. The University of Canberra has established a new start-up company to commercialise a new approach for the treatment of breast cancer. EpiAxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd will take to market innovative University of Canberra-led research aimed at the prevention of the spread of metastasis. This is an example—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson! You have spoken.


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