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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2126..


MR SPEAKER: The minister is not responsible for Labor Party conferences.

Mrs Dunne: No, but he is responsible for the process of closing schools and the consultation on the closing of the schools. The comments were made that the process for which Mr Barr is responsible could not have been handled worse. This Assembly is entitled to question Mr Barr on his handling of the process of consultation.

MR SPEAKER: Would you repeat that, Mrs Dunne?

Mrs Dunne: The point I am trying to make is that this Assembly is entitled to quiz Mr Barr on his handling of the process of consultation on the closure of schools.

MR SPEAKER: This Assembly is entitled to question Mr Barr on his ministerial responsibilities. The point I make is that the Labor Party does not fall within his ministerial responsibilities.

Mrs Dunne: The Leader of the Opposition has used a quote by way of background. It is still reasonable for this opposition to question the minister on his handling of the process of closing 39 schools and amalgamating many more.

MR SPEAKER: I still do not think you should be referring to Labor Party conferences.

Mr Smyth: The Labor Party can appear on television and refer to events that occurred at conferences. We refer to articles that are published in the Canberra Times.

MR SPEAKER: The question did not refer to an article that appeared in the Canberra Times.

Mr Smyth: We refer to the Hansard of the ACT Assembly. We source things from many areas.

MR SPEAKER: You should take more care in drafting your questions, too.

Mr Smyth: What is out of order about the question?

MR SPEAKER: I make the point that the minister is not responsible for what happens-

Mr Smyth: That is not the question. The scene is set in the context that the government uses so often. The context is that comments were made at a location. The question was about the process.

MR SPEAKER: I will listen to the question in its entirety again, but I am not going to allow questions of ministers about the Labor Party.

MR STEFANIAK: I am happy to rephrase it. My question is to the minister for education. I refer to public comments made by your colleague Ms MacDonald in relation to the government's plan to close 39 schools, in which she said:


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