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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1206..


Mr Stefaniak: I told you how to solve it in 2003.

MR SPEAKER: I name you, Mr Stefaniak.

Motion (by Mr Corbell ) put:

That Mr Stefaniak be suspended from the services of the Assembly.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Mr Gentleman

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Dr Foskey

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Pratt

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Mr Stefaniak was therefore suspended at 3.44 pm for three sitting hours in accordance with standing order 204, and he accordingly withdrew from the chamber.

Schools—bullying

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the minister for education. Recently a former New South Wales government school student received a payout of around $1 million as a result of government schools in that state failing to take appropriate action to stop bullying. In light of some recent celebrated so-called cyber bullying incidents in the ACT, can you assure the ACT Assembly that the territory and its taxpayers are not exposed to like actions as a result of the absence of adequate controls in the ACT education system?

MR BARR: Yes, it was an interesting decision in New South Wales. Along with all education systems, the ACT is concerned about the impact of bullying and harassment on students' learning. The recent case in New South Wales does highlight the responsibility education systems and schools have to ensure that all students are protected, that reasonable measures are taken to maintain safe schools and that parent concerns are addressed.

I am pleased to advise the Assembly that the revised policies of the Department of Education and Training provide that clear direction to schools: that bullying must be addressed and reported. As I outlined in response to Mrs Burke's question, a variety of policies are in place. They come under the four key policy papers: the safe school environment, preschool to Year 12; the countering bullying, harassment and violence in ACT public schools policy; the countering sexual harassment in ACT public schools; and countering racism in ACT public schools.

I state again that these policies require all schools to have practices and programs in place to ensure that students are protected from bullying, harassment and violence. Schools must report to the central office of the department instances of bullying,


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