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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 3081..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

a most effective consultative committee that I think made significant progress in a very short period.

I recall that the first Aboriginal education report that was before the Assembly showed some alarming rates in terms of literacy and numeracy for years 3 and 5 students at the time. As a result of a lot of good work not only by the department but also by the education consultative committee, those results were turned around and there was, I think, an increase of about 20 per cent in literacy and numeracy, bringing them right up to the standards of other students in the system after about a six-month period when the next reporting was done.

That was because of a very inclusive approach being taken by the community itself, a community that greatly assisted that committee in terms of reducing to very low levels the incidence of truancy in relation to some of the young ATSI population in our schools. So it was somewhat disturbing to hear that perhaps this government is listening-I was going to say paying lip service; maybe it is doing that, too-to certain groups more than others. It is important to be inclusive, to include all.

One thing that seems to be going reasonably well is circle sentencing. I did note the concerns that my friend Mr Seselja had in relation to that and it is only early days. I do note that early reports-we had had only 14 or so at the time-seemed to be that it was progressing reasonably well. It is time inclusive. I certainly hope that it will continue to progress well. There are some concerns as to how similar systems operate interstate, but I think that it is important to try these things and I will be looking with great interest at how that justice initiative continues to pan out as time progresses.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The time for the discussion has expired.

Human Rights Commission Bill 2005

[Cognate bill:

Human Rights Commission Legislation Amendment Bill 2005]

Detail stage

Debate resumed.

Clauses 79 to 86, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 87.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.05): I seek leave to move amendments Nos 15 and 16 circulated in my name together.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: I move amendments Nos 15 and 16 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3105].

These amendments, which refer to the autonomy of commissioners to report to the minister, propose that clause 87 subclauses (1) and (2) be replaced. The clause as it stands contains the words, "The commission may, on its own initiative". I seek to replace


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