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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (31 May) . . Page.. 1256..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

I refer you to email correspondence from ... which was received in my office on 3 April. This correspondence was also sent to you on the same date. This correspondence refers to an assault on—

this constituent's son at a Canberra school—

on 1 March. This correspondence clearly states that the parents concerned were discouraged by staff at—

that school—

from reporting the matter to the Police. The parents did so regardless of the advice from the school, but charges were not pressed at the request of the victim.

While I was overseas my Senior Advisor wrote to your Chief of Staff specifically asking that the email be brought to your attention. My Senior Advisor specifically asked why Police were not called to assaults at schools.

In the letter that my senior staffer wrote, amongst other things he asked:

Why aren't the police called to assaults at school?

My letter of 30 May continued:

I wrote to you on 7 May about some of the issues raised by the parents but did not raise the issue of calling the Police at the request of the parents, who respected their son's decision not to press charges. The original correspondence was attached to my letter.

It seems to me that there have been three occasions when the assault at—

this school—

was raised with you along with the information that police were not called by the college authorities. I subsequently learnt that this was in breach of the protocols.

I learnt that as a result of information provided by staff of the department of education. I had inquired as to whether or not there were protocols about calling police and I was specifically told that there were protocols which should be adhered to. My letter continued:

You admitted as much in Question Time today.

Could I suggest that you review the correspondence you have received on this matter and also review the statement you made in Question Time today and consider whether you need to correct the record?

It is quite clear from the evidence that has passed through my office that Mr Barr could have made a mistake yesterday in question time when he answered Mr Stefaniak's question in the way that he did. I was sufficiently concerned that I put together the whole bundle of documentation to refresh the minister's memory on what


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