Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1526..
MS PORTER (continuing):
Mr Barr has a duty of care and responsibility for the students to ensure they can be educated safely and calmly in a secure environment.
What kind of management strategy is Mr Pratt advocating? Is the strategy in line with his federal colleagues' policy on bullying? Is this the kind of philosophy and practice we should expect from those opposite should there ever again be a Liberal government foisted on the people of the ACT? Will our public service face a workplace environment of fear? Will every government department be subject to standover bullyboy tactics? Will Mr Pratt and his fellow Liberal ministers "put the fear of God"into their departments? Is that what Mr Pratt is advocating? Is that how he believes a department should be managed?
How many of us here believe that such management practices would result in a safe, calm and secure environment? I would have thought that, following his years of military service, Mr Pratt would know that the most effective way to achieve the results you are seeking from those who you work with is to model the behaviour and attitudes you expect—in other words, lead by example. To put the fear of God into them is leading by fear; it is bullying staff into submission. Mr Pratt's preferred management style would result in the creation of a climate of fear. Is that really what we want in our education department? Such a climate would resonate through the whole department and inevitably into the places where we all know that the most beneficial environment for our young people is one that fosters positive reinforcement and is led by positive example and role modelling.
That is the type of environment we want for our departmental officers, our teachers, our support professionals and, of course, our students—not one that is based on fear, as Mr Pratt would have it. Let us hope that Mr Pratt is never given the opportunity to impose his draconian management practices on the ACT education system—or, indeed, on any other area of our administration—and that Mr Pratt never has the opportunity to put the fear of God into those whose role it is to serve the public of the ACT.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (6.08): Ms Porter, I think Mr Pratt was actually saying that the minister should make sure his department lifts its game. What nonsense.
Anyway, I want to talk about doing business with Malaysia. I was pleased to see the Chief Minister report on his trip to China and I certainly encourage visits like that. I am pleased he went to India and I am pleased he went to China. It is crucially important that we explore these links for the benefit of the ACT.
Malaysia is Australia's second-largest trading partner in ASEAN. In 2006 Australia became the third-biggest investor there after Japan and Holland. It is often overlooked, however, as a good place to do business. Malaysia is expecting a record growth of six per cent this year, but it has been in the shadow of its mighty regional neighbours, India and China, because of its size.