Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

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Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 Mr BELL: I pick up the interjection. If consultation with the general public is socialism, I am a socialist. If the CLP process is to forget public education, you can have your CLP way. You can have your Tory philosophy, you can have your capitalism, you can have your laissez-faire approach to the economics of education because I know that there is nobody out there who will accept it. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table those 2 documents. Leave granted.. Mr BELL: Mr Speaker, a number of comments will be made in the course of this debate about the inequity of the reductions in respect of face-to-face teaching as opposed to the impact that it has on the bureaucracy. These will be made by other opposition speakers. Also, comment will be made in respect of the increased class sizes resulting from the changing staff formula and in respect of devolution and cuts to curriculum. Mr Speaker, I rest my case here. I have made it quite clear in respect of this motion that this minister deserves censure in the strongest possible terms for his complete failure to administer the Territory system of education in a way that continues to provide quality education for Territory students. Mr STONE (Education): Mr Speaker, what a contrived and orchestrated exercise! On the basis of some answers given in question time, the opposition is pretending that it is so outraged that it has had to move a motion of censure, and it just happened to have the motion ready to hand out in the Chamber. I am one of the many people who believe that education should be one of the last areas considered for budget reductions. I agree with the member for MacDonnell that education is an investment in our children's future. In the past in the Territory, reductions have been made in allocations to education. In the main, that has been handled by making reductions outside the school fence and the brunt has been borne in reductions in overheads. The exception was in 1987, when the Commonwealth reduced the Territory's budget by some $100m. As we have heard during these sittings, the situation we face today is similar but worse. The nation is gripped by a depression and, to reduce expenditure over the last 2 years, all Australian states, without exception, have had to accept substantial reductions in their education budgets. However, I do not intend to focus on what has occurred in the states. I intend to stress that the Territory government has moved responsibly to reduce its expenditure significantly whilst taking care to minimise the impact on the community. A complete inventory of every function carried out by the government, including all departments and employees, has been undertaken on the basis of posing the following question: 'Is the job or function necessary and, if so, can it be performed more efficiently?1 The government's intention is to spread the burden of recovery fairly and squarely across the community, as it should be spread. No single area of government responsibility ... Mr Bailey: You are a hypocrite. Mr SPEAKER: Order! I will warn the member for Wanguri once again. I do not intend to allow him to persist with disorderly conduct whilst members 781

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