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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 1885..


MS MacDONALD (continuing):

Mrs Dunne has actually described our system as a world-class system. In saying that we have an excellent system, I am not saying that we should not continually review and assess the system that we have, and the minister has made that point as well. There is no suggestion by this side of the Assembly that we should not be continually assessing for the sake of our students how well our system operates.

Mrs Dunne: We can use every assessment tool, except one.

MS MacDONALD: Mrs Dunne, please do not interrupt. Members on this side of the house are interested—and I believe Mrs Dunne is as well—in the welfare of students and the best educational outcomes for students. I do not doubt that Mrs Dunne has those interests at heart, but time and time again in this sort of situation Mrs Dunne revs herself up for the sake of the debate. That is what I think she was doing today. I was not suggesting that there be no review done.

Mrs Dunne has moved an amendment which has absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter of the motion that I moved here today.

Mrs Dunne: Seek a ruling to see whether it is out of order.

MS MacDONALD: I am sorry?

Mrs Dunne: If you think it is out of order, seek a ruling.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Dunne! Ms MacDonald, do not respond to her interjections.

Mr Barr: Are you sure you want him ruling on it?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: You, too, Mr Barr. Can we get through this, members on both sides of the chamber?

MS MacDONALD: Mr Deputy Speaker, I could have moved that the amendment was out of order, but I think that Mrs Dunne should actually take up the minister's suggestion. If she wants a broader debate there is nothing to stop her, as a member of this place, from raising these issues, particularly as she is the shadow spokesperson for education. The minister has said that he would welcome a broader debate and I would be quite happy to make a contribution to that debate as well. As you know, Mr Deputy Speaker, I have a longstanding interest in educational issues. Although I am no longer the chair of the education committee, I do actually have a little bit of knowledge about the area. This side of the house would be quite happy to have a broader debate.

Mrs Dunne's amendment fails because it actually does not address the subject matter that I raised, and that is the issue of continuous assessment. It is not about the review of secondary colleges in the Australian Capital Territory entitled challenge, opportunity and renewal dated December 2005, which I do not think the minister addressed fully because he was addressing other issues.


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