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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 30 March 2017) . . Page.. 1342 ..

I note that Mr Wall had a couple of comments to make about why I would not just write to the Minister for Education and Training in my capacity as a minister. I indicated that I had already done that, to little effect. State and territory ministers have done that collectively. The Australian Industry Group has done that. The Business Chamber has done that. The Business Council of Australia has done that. In bringing this motion to the Assembly today, and I wish Mr Wall was here to hear this, I thought that for me to write to the commonwealth ministers expressing the full force of the Assembly’s views that the commonwealth should continue to support this very important national partnership carried a bit more oomph.

Obviously, Mr Wall was fobbed off—I am not even sure he realised he was being fobbed off about this, as every state and territory government has been for the past 12 months—when he called the assistant minister’s office and was told it is in the normal cabinet process. It is unfortunate that he is being fobbed off just like every other state and territory and every other industry group has been, because, as I also mentioned, national partnerships are many.

There is always a bit of back and forth. There is always a bit of agitation and turbulence around this time of the year in the lead-up to the federal budget. What is unusual about this one is that the commonwealth has been silent since November last year, when the then new minister, Minister Andrews, refused to even put this on the agenda. In contrast, the new health minister, at last week’s health ministers meeting, at least had the decency to have national partnerships on the agenda. The commonwealth has not even had the decency to hold a meeting. It has not had the decency to talk to state and territory departments about continuing this funding.

It is unfortunate that Mr Wall did not even seem to realise that he was being completely fobbed off by his Liberal counterpart in the commonwealth parliament, but that fobbing off is what everybody else has got. With the federal budget just five weeks away, with no correspondence from anyone in the commonwealth, with stonewalling silence, it is unfortunate that Mr Wall has also been fobbed off by his counterparts.

Nonetheless, I am very grateful for the support of those opposite in supporting this motion. I will look forward to writing to both Minister Birmingham and Minister Andrews expressing the full force of the Assembly in wishing to see the commonwealth continue to support vocational education and training, and to fully support apprenticeship funding across Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Urban Renewal—Standing Committee

Statement by member

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (12.27), by leave: I would like to note that I am speaking in my capacity as a private member, not as Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal.

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