House debates

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Economy; Braddon Electorate: Schools

4:55 pm

Photo of Sid SidebottomSid Sidebottom (Braddon, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to raise two things this evening. The first is to recognise this government’s very good record in keeping our economy moving. The newspaper headline, ‘The economy on the march’, written by Andrew Carswell, clearly indicates the importance—contrary to what the other side say—of the government’s stimulus packages on keeping this economy working. That means working in the sense of jobs being sustained. It clearly indicates through all the information available that the private sector has been lagging but the good thing that is predicted by a number of analysts is that from the current and future quarters, the private sector should increase its investment in the economy and together with the government keep this economy moving. I think we should be congratulated on that as a nation, and this government in particular, but do you hear that from the other side? Not on your nelly. But I wish to recognise it.

On an even more positive note, I would like to congratulate a number of schools in my community that were kind enough to invite me on behalf of the Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, to attend the opening of their wonderful facilities. You hear from the other side about a number of instances that may be questionable under the BER scheme on the mainland and, if you read the Australian, you would swear that every school in Australia was going backwards in terms of their infrastructure. I can tell you that in Tasmania we have a first-rate record of rolling out the Building the Education Revolution. In my electorate alone there are 139 projects in 63 of my schools worth something like $99.6 million—that is being spent in my region keeping people employed and producing excellent teaching and learning facilities. Every community I have been involved with thinks they are first rate. Say what you may about warts and all in terms of rolling out this massive $42 billion in projects throughout Australia—these facilities, particularly in primary schools, would never have happened under the other mob and did not happen in their term of government which you never hear about. Many states would be struggling to provide these facilities for primary schools throughout the nation and particularly in my region.

If I have to pick paradise on earth, may I suggest you go to Natone on the north-west of Tasmania. The day of the opening was magnificent. The sun was pouring down; the grass was growing milk because the cows were asleep, and in the Natone Primary School of 55 students, a magnificently kept school, was this wonderful facility, allied with its eco centre. Many schools and their teachers come from not just the north-west coast but from the whole of Tassie to the Natone Primary School. It had $300,000 for a magnificent addition. The Latrobe Primary School, the mighty Latrobe, had $2.1 million for a multipurpose facility which I saw in action the other day with magnificent dances, wonderful exhibitions. I cannot imagine more flexibility in a building than at the Latrobe Primary School. The Devonport Christian School had $925,000 for a fantastic addition to their library and other aspects of the school.

These are just three examples of the BER at work and very happy communities. All I want is for Senator Colbeck, Senator Parry and Mr Abbott to come in and tell my people which projects will be being closed in the future and what is going to happen to the trades training centres that are promised now and are on the way and they are going to stop. Come in and tell us. I bet you we don’t see them within cooee. (Time expired)

Photo of Ms Anna BurkeMs Anna Burke (Chisholm, Deputy-Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! It being 5.00 pm, the debate is interrupted.