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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2286..


Ms Gallagher: Squeeze them out.

MR STANHOPE: Squeeze them out, starve them out, force them into submission. It is all there for the world to see in the Bill Stefaniak approach to school closure. The process the government is following in relation to consultation is the statutory process. It is a process that the then minister, Ms Gallagher, negotiated for almost a year with the then president of the P&C, Dr Morgan. It is essentially the P&C's model. The consultation model included within the legislation took a year to negotiate because of the concern of the P&C council in relation to a model which was acceptable to the P&Cs of the school community.

It is Dr Morgan's model. It was negotiated over a year, it was incorporated into the legislation and it is now being faithfully complied with by this government. It is passing strange that a model which was fully supported, fully negotiated and introduced into the legislation only after the most detailed consultation, only with the full agreement of Dr Morgan and the P&C council is, now that it is being utilised, all of a sudden fatally flawed. It is the P&C's model. We are fully abiding by it in good faith and will continue to do so. The motion will not be accepted.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella)(5.59): This is a worthwhile motion because it asks people to stand up for what they believe and it puts it on the public record in the most public forum of all, the Legislative Assembly. Yesterday we learned an interesting concept from Mr Corbell: you can be a private citizen when you want to be and you can be a minister at other times during the day. I am not sure what is the ALP duty statement for a minister, but when I was a minister it was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every week of the year.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member must be relevant to the motion.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, this is about whether or not we believe in something. When Mr Stanhope, as Chief Minister, introduced his ministerial code of conduct in 2004 he said that ministers must make decisions every day. The motion we are debating, which Minister Corbell and Minister Gallagher voted for, comes under the purview of that ministerial code of conduct. Every day ministers must publicly defend cabinet on every decision.

Mr Stanhope: On a point of order: the motion that is being debated is a motion that was moved by Mrs Dunne. As we are all aware, the motion relates to a consultation process and whether or not the statutory process with which the government is currently complying should be changed. The government's view, of course, is that it should not be changed or amended.

Mr Smyth: What standing order are you referring to?

MR SPEAKER: Order!

At 6.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for the next sitting. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly was put.


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