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Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Page: 82

Senator IAN MACDONALD (10:05 PM) —I do not think Senator Carr’s comments should be left unchallenged on the record. The $28 billion for education can quite easily go forward. The Schools Assistance Bill 2008 is passed. If it does not go forward then that will be a decision the government makes. But there is a bill that will provide that money for schools, and it is a bill that has been supported by the whole chamber. Everybody agrees that there should be a national curriculum. There is no question about that. The problem is, of course, that schools have been expected to sign off on something they have not seen. The government can be assured and has been assured that we will all support the national curriculum, provided that it is reasonable—and I am sure it will be. Bring forward a bill with that, and there will be no problem. So the money is there. The Senate has agreed to the payment of the money. If the government choose not to pay the money, that will be on their heads.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Crossin)—The question is that the Education Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 and the Schools Assistance Bill 2008 be read a third time.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a third time.