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Wednesday, 8 March 2000
Page: 14179

Mr LEE (4:13 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr LEE —Yes.

Mr SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr LEE —In question time the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs made a number of claims. He said that clearly I had a problem because I had not wanted to give the impression that I was supportive of basic skills tests and did not want to criticise the union. That was the claim of the minister. In fact, in the speech that I gave I made it very clear that the Labor Party does support basic skills testing and that we also support targeted intervention—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dobell will come to where he was misrepresented; not the Labor Party.

Mr LEE —The minister referred to me on several occasions, accusing me of not supporting basic skills testing. I made it very clear in my speech that we support not only the basic skills testing but also the funding for remedial action.

The minister also went on to say that I was not prepared to stand up for parents, that I was not prepared to stand up for disadvantaged students and that I was not prepared to criticise the union because I was afraid of the union. The simple way to explain how the minister has misrepresented me in making those claims is to refer the minister to the Prime Minister's paper of choice, that is, the Daily Telegraph, which reported my speech under the headline `Labor attacks teachers'. It says:

The split between New South Wales teachers and the Labor Party widened last night with a federal opposition attack on literacy test bans. Shadow education minister Michael Lee challenged the progressive credentials of the New South Wales teachers union and said that the bans would affect students and the most serious literacy problems.

The point I make, finally, is that the minister selectively listens but he obviously needs to read—

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dobell has indicated where he has been misrepresented and he has had a chance to respond. He knows that he is now out of order and will resume his seat.