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Thursday, 19 June 2003
Page: 17050

Mr COX (2:42 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Education, Science and Training. The minister now recalls last night giving the member for Ballarat the guarantee that the last thing the government will be doing is reducing places at the University of Ballarat. I listened carefully to the minister's answer in which he talked about giving priority to Queensland and to Western Australia. In the light of his guarantee to the member for Ballarat, will the minister also guarantee that he will not remove any of the 729 marginally funded places at his old university, Flinders?

Honourable members interjecting

The SPEAKER —Before I recognise the minister, let me point out the obvious to the House: if I draw either the member for Sturt's or the member for Jagajaga's attention to their interjections, I expect them then to cease.

Dr NELSON (Minister for Education, Science and Training) —I thank the member for Kingston for his question and I say to the gallery: see what we have to deal with. There are two things that I would say in response to this question. The first is that the response which I have given to the member for Swan—

The SPEAKER —I warn the member for Swan!

Dr NELSON —The response I have given to the member for Swan would, I think, apply equally to the member for Kingston, and I reiterate the invitation to Labor members—if not the party, Labor members, at least—to work with us constructively on working through what is a very important and complex set of changes. The second thing: with deference to Professor Kerry Cox, Albert Einstein was a very intelligent man, a man of considerable scientific repute. He once said, `I now know why people like to chop wood; it's so easy to understand the outcome.'

The SPEAKER —I warn the member for Gellibrand!