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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1333 ..

On many other national partnerships they have indicated a pathway. They have indicated where there will be a meeting of ministers. There is no scheduled meeting of skills ministers between now and the federal budget in May. That is five weeks away. Those who know how ministerial meetings work would be gobsmacked if there was a ministerial meeting able to be scheduled between state and territory and commonwealth ministers between now and the federal budget. What that says to me is that the commonwealth is not going to fund vocational education and training and that the commonwealth is going to dip out of funding apprenticeships. The states, the territories, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the AI Group and the Business Council of Australia have all combined to say to the commonwealth, “Where are you are you on vocational education and training? Where are you on supporting apprentices? Where are you on supporting the future of industry in Australia?” Silence! I urge colleagues in the Assembly to support this motion today.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (11.53): Before I address the subject matter of Ms Fitzharris’s motion, I will raise a few concerns or disappointment from the opposition about the way that this motion has been brought to the Assembly today. Substantial changes were made at the start of this term to the way motions are brought forward to the Assembly, largely at the request of the executive. The executive demanded that they be given additional time to consider motions, particularly those coming from the opposition on a Wednesday, private members’ day, so that they could have the opportunity to have research compiled within their offices, and, with the great luxury of the largesse of public service departments behind them, they could then come to this place with a considered and thought-out response to the opposition’s motions.

The change to the standing orders now facilitates all motions, and even executive members’ business moved by the pseudo-crossbench Greens members in this place, being submitted by midday on Monday and considered by admin and procedure on a Monday. Ample notice is then given to all members in this place to research, work on, consider and deliberate over the motions, and consider them before they are brought up for discussion and a vote in this Assembly.

Today, though, the higher education minister, at the last minute, has added on to the notice paper a motion—it only appeared on the notice paper today—to debate today a motion on vocational education and training. I have speaking notes and a speech ready to go, but we have been given less than a couple of hours to come into this place to hold a considered debate on that. I will be writing to the admin and procedure committee and the Speaker to ask that this be addressed so that we have some consistency in the way these sorts of matters are brought in here. The cynic in me suspects that it has largely been brought in today simply to filibuster and pad the time out. I notice that there is a bit of sensitivity on the part of those opposite regarding their inability to fill the schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays in sitting weeks since the last election.

Leaving that aside, I am very happy to speak on behalf of the opposition with regard to Ms Fitzharris’s motion. We on this side all understand and recognise the large importance that vocational education and training—traineeships and apprenticeships

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