Parramatta Community Cabinet - Video Highlights Transcript
WED 04 APRIL 2012
Macarthur Girls High School, Parramatta, New South Wales
On 4 April, 2012, the Prime Minister and numerous ministers held a Community Cabinet meeting at Macarthur Girls High School in Parramatta. This video contains some highlights of that meeting. A complete transcript of the public forum held at the meeting can be found on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.
Student 1: Well, today Macarthur Girls’ has been invited to host the Community Cabinet, which involves some ministers and the Prime Minister coming in, and answering questions from the public.
Student 2: By coming out and addressing the community’s concerns they make sure that whatever they’re doing up there in Canberra is still relevant to what we need down here.
Man 1: I’m here today to enjoy the beauty of the fruit of democracy and to bring my community’s concerns to policy makers and decision makers.
PM: I always love coming to schools and when I do I always say to the students within them that the most important thing that’s happening in our nation today isn’t happening in the boardrooms; it’s not happening in the factories; it’s not happening on the farms; it’s happening in the classrooms of our schools around the country.
I think we can see a great girls’ school that’s going to be generating a future crop of female prime ministers for this country, so thank you very much for having us here.
Questioner 1: [VOICE OF AUSLAN INTERPRETER] I am particularly proud that you are implementing a National Disability Insurance Scheme, but I’d just like to come back to our language, which is Australian sign language. And that hasn’t particularly been recognised by the Federal Government, in ensuring that information is available and accessible to deaf people.
PM: One of the things that Peter and I have been able to do in recent months is announce a $200 million dollar additional investment into supporting students with disabilities to be spent over two school years, whilst we work on the long-term funding model for education.
Questioner 2: I want to know how you’ll convince business and the voting public – and probably most importantly the media – that some harsh measures might need to be taken in the budget to prevent Australia heading towards a recession itself.
Minister Swan: We are in a period of very, very great structural change. We came through a global recession with flying colours compared to other developed economies. But we are located in a region where there are big changes happening. And all of those big changes that are happening in our region are all good for Australia.
PM: So thank you very much for coming along tonight and participating in such good spirit. I’m sure we’ve both learned a lot from the exchange. Certainly we’ve learned things from you. So thank you very much.
Man 2: I think it’s important for occasions such as this, because it gives that transparency to the democratic process.
Man 3: This community thing brings everyone together, so we can talk and let the Prime Minister see how the community’s feeling.
Woman 1: We’re hoping to put a bit more attention to Western Sydney, because – you know what – our future’s here, our kid’s futures will be here, so we want to have a say in that.
Woman 2: And if they don’t come out to the community, they’re reliant on their advisers. And whilst lots of people get an opportunity, perhaps, to lobby their advisers, they don’t get such a broad spectrum of opinion, unless they actually come out to the community.