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Thursday, 20 August 2009
Page: 8550

Mr ADAMS (2:54 PM) —Under the standing orders, I will fill the void.

The SPEAKER —I thank you for your help!

Mr ADAMS —Thank you for the call, Mr Speaker. My question is to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and the Minister for Social Inclusion. Will the Deputy Prime Minister update the House on Building the Education Revolution and the responses to the program?

Ms GILLARD (Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion) —I thank the member for Lyons for his question, which did much more than fill the void; it is a great question. It enables me to celebrate with him and with members on this side of the House the fact that we have received advice from the Ouse district school in his electorate that it is the first Tasmanian school to complete construction in the Primary Schools for the 21st Century program, so that is great news. The school received $250,000 and now has a new multipurpose hall, of which they can be very proud.

I am also pleased to say to the member for Lyons and to the members of this House that supported this important program, building the education infrastructure that we need for the future while supporting jobs today, that this project in the member for Lyons’s electorate has supported local jobs. It has supported a total of approximately 35 on-site workers in the member for Lyons’s electorate and approximately 12 of those were apprentices employed on the project engaged in carpentry, joinery, electrical work, mechanical services, plumbing, painting, plastering, glazing and concreting—and I think that is terrific news as well.

I am asked about responses to the Building the Education Revolution program. For those who care about education—government members and Independent members in this House—it has been a response of enthusiasm. On the other side we see the opposition in disarray and acting as a complete rabble. They come to this parliament and criticise Building the Education Revolution. They go back home and they cannot wait to be associated with it. The shadow minister for education does not do much work on education. He gets on the internet occasionally and pulls up a photograph and then runs into this House and makes completely incorrect claims. Yesterday the member for Sturt came into this parliament and claimed, with props and all, that the Perseverance Primary School was going to receive $60,000 per student for their five students. Let me quote the words of the Australian newspaper on this.

Mr Pyne —Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. Can it be relevant for the minister to tell untruths in her answer when yesterday I said they were entitled to $250,000 plus the $50,000 they had already received.

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Sturt has made his point of order. As I indicated to an earlier point of order raised by the member for Sturt, there are other processes of the House that he can use to rectify this situation if he is concerned.

Mr Pyne interjecting

The SPEAKER —I could actually place that on the record for you if you would like it, but I do not think you want that. The Manager of Opposition Business has assured me that there will be no walk out by Tasmanian Liberal members of the House.

Opposition members interjecting—

The SPEAKER —Settle down. I appreciate it is the end of the fortnight but please take that as it was meant—in jest. The Deputy Prime Minister has the call.

Ms GILLARD —Mr Speaker, it just goes to prove how smart Tasmanians are. On the question of the Australian newspaper I know that the shadow minister does not like to be revealed as a dud and a dissimulator, but this is what the Australian newspaper had to say today:

… a criticism by Mr Pyne about up to $300,000 being granted to a Victorian primary school with only five students backfired after it emerged the school had not sought most of the funding.

            …         …         …

Yesterday, the school’s principal … denied it had sought the funding.

Of course, the shadow minister, who does no work and has no policy, was not the only one making false claims yesterday. We had the member for Macarthur making a claim about Douglas Park Primary School. He made a claim that there was a quote for $285,000 for a new library. Of course, that too is completely untrue. There was never an official quote for $285,000 for a new library—claim not true.

But, whilst they are in here as a rabble with their false claims about Building the Education Revolution, there are some people who cannot wait to get back home and associate themselves with this project. My attention has been drawn to a very extensive multipage brochure called From Andrew to you. From Andrew to you actually takes us in the beginning—with the youth shots and all the rest of it—right back in time to when there was only black-and-white film, apparently—right back then.

Mr Anthony Smith interjecting

The SPEAKER —Order! The member for Casey will not encourage.

Ms GILLARD —We have the member for Goldstein in a hard hat and a vest—imagine that! Then, as we keep going through, there he is in a construction site. There he is, helping with a bit of construction. And what construction is he claiming to be involving himself in, and is it of importance to his electorate? There are pages and pages of lists, and what is it? It is this government’s economic stimulus package and Building the Education Revolution—pages and pages and pages of it, right here in Goldstein. Of course, this was published somewhat earlier this year, when the member for Goldstein’s electorate had received $4.5 million through Building the Education Revolution. One can only imagine the width of the next instalment, when he records the $64 million that his electorate currently has under Building the Education Revolution. The poor old voters in Goldstein will not even be able to lift it! The opposition are a rabble with no unity, no discipline, no policy and no ideas, and the only thing they have to sell in their electorates is associating themselves with government programs, and here is the proof.