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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3852..


MR SPEAKER: It has to be dealt with by way of substantive motion.

Mr Stanhope: That's what we'll have to do then.

MS GALLAGHER: All care, no responsibility from Mrs Burke. She is just out there, on the airwaves alleging a whole range of stuff. As usual she jumped on one side of the story. We have seen in other areas of Mrs Burke's portfolio where she has jumped on one side of the story and accepted it as gospel-it has to be the truth! This has to be the case. There is no need to have any natural justice in any of the allegations that have been raised. She could just go out there and say, "This is the truth. I know it. I am Mrs Burke! Someone gave me this, so it is true."Don't worry about law, process and natural justice. Who cares about the personal ramifications of her allegations? It is absolutely ridiculous. There is a process in place. The matter Mrs Burke refers to is being handled through a very thorough process. When that process is finished, that is the point at which I will be able to be briefed on the matter. If there is any impropriety or a problem with any of the issues that you have raised, that information will be given to me and it will be acted upon.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, why did your department approve 93.7 per cent of the contract expenditure within the first nine months of a two-year agreed contract period?

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, on a point of order, that was an integral part of the previous question.

MR SPEAKER: I think that is fully answered, Mrs Burke.

Schools-industrial safety

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, during last sitting week, Mrs Burke asked you a question about a child who went missing from the special needs area of Gowrie Primary School, due to the negligence of Totalcare. You took the question on notice and said that you would get back to her but, so far, you have failed to do so. Today's Australian states that Gowrie Primary School sent a letter of complaint to your department about this serious issue. The Australian also cites your spokesman as saying that the minister had not been made aware of the allegations.

It seems to be par for the course that your department does not tell you about serious problems. Why did your department not make you aware of these very serious allegations, when you state that you have reporting processes in place to keep you informed about serious incidents?

MS GALLAGHER: In relation to the situation at Gowrie, I did not undertake to get back to Mrs Burke, if you read the Hansard closely-I checked that myself. I have subsequently been briefed by the department on the matter. There was an issue where a child ran away from the school, due to an alarm bell going off, not due to any work being done at the school. The child was missing for about 40 minutes, from memory. During


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