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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1650..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

the extract of the ALP's charter of financial integrity. Accordingly, I have tabled the extract from the Labor Party's charter of financial integrity.

It is headed "ACT Labor, Priorities—financial integrity, Fact sheet 10, Labor: charter of financial integrity!"This is the official record of the ALP website held in the National Library of Australia under the address pandora.nla.gov.au. The exact words in that document say, "What Labor will do"Then three paragraphs down it says, "Ensure that budgets and financial reports clearly show the operating performance of the Territory, net of the results of invested superannuation cash reserves."

Nowhere in that document, Mr Speaker, do the words "in some form"appear. This is the official record. We have checked from the original version that was printed in 2001. We have checked again the current records held by the National Library of Australia. I understand the pressure he is under trying to run this government almost as a one-man band, but I would sincerely hope that, as I do if I make an error, the Chief Minister will be quick to apologise for this mistake.

Schools—closures

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (9.04): Mr Speaker, I would like to continue on some of the themes that I have raised last night in relation to the prep to year 2 schools that are proposed by the ACT government to open in 2009 at Isabella Plains, Lyons, Narrabundah and Southern Cross primary schools.

As I started to say last night, no-one outside the minister's office or the ACT department of education seems to think that the establishment of freestanding P-2 schools was a great idea. I spend a lot of time in schools and talking to parents. I would like to share some of the thoughts that have been given to me over the last little while by people, especially those in some of the affected schools.

As I said, no-one outside the minister's office seems to think it is a good idea. I have said in this place that it seems a rather outmoded, rather 1950s idea, to have an infant school separate from other schools. The people that I talk to, mainly people who are working parents, seem to view the whole thing as extraordinarily complicated for them. They might enrol one child at school for three years and then at the end of those three years, they would move on somewhere else. If they have a second or third child, they would have children at separate schools while they are at primary school.

Some people might make choices to send their children to separate schools because of their particular needs, but most people like to send their children to the one school so that they have companionship and there is always a big sister or a big brother to turn to. This would not be available to people if they sent their children to a P-2 school. For that reason, most of the people I have spoken to have said that they are not interested in a P-2 school.

One of the other reasons that people are not interested in the P-2 school is one of perception. Because there is a great deal of talking about early intervention—of having therapy programs onsite et cetera—there is a perception, which had not struck me and I suspect had not struck the minister, that these are in some sense "special"schools, and that the children who go there are children who are at risk of not


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