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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3092..


MR PRATT (continuing):

ACTPLA have simply rolled over and made a decision on behalf of Telstra instead of the residents for whom they are supposed to be providing a service. Today's decision by ACTPLA is an act of bastardry. I feel quite disappointed and very, very sad for the Fadden-Macarthur residents group who have fought very hard and for a very long time to see that this tower is not put in an inappropriate place. It could have been put out of sight and out of mind and still met the technical aims of Telstra. I really urge the Stanhope government to intervene in this matter, to talk to ACTPLA and reverse that decision.

Schools—closures

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (6.12): I would like to take his opportunity to refer to a media release that was issued today by Save our Schools. It is based on data that has recently become available about the condition of the school sites. People will know that this is an issue that I have followed with great interest. The Greens have said that we do not believe that any of these sites should be sold until after the election because we believe that the government should go to an election on this issue. People did not know they were voting to have schools closed and sold when they voted the government in last time.

There is special concern because Mr Hargreaves has maintained a number of times, any time he has been asked, that the Mt Neighbour primary school is in poor condition and claimed that the site is too expensive to bring up to standard. But what we find now is that, of the 10 primary schools up for possible sale, Mt Neighbour primary school actually has the third-best condition rating and the third-lowest total figure for critical, essential or important costs required to bring the site up to standard. In fact, Mr Hargreaves declared the Mt Neighbour primary school site condition to be so poor that it will not be retained for community use. It is one of the schools that are not being consulted on for community use because it is going to be sold. That decision has already been made.

Of course the parents are very concerned that in a way they have had the rug pulled out from underneath them. They never felt that there was any real consultation about their school staying open in the first place. They could not see what the problem was with it, and now the government's own report has come out and said it is actually in quite good condition.

Another school has also had a notable safety issue, but it turns out that issue is not the school itself. It is the ceiling and roof on an external walkway. Rivett also has a major roof replacement expense listed. However, in the condition report this is not noted as a building safety issue, and in fact was tacked onto the end of the report. The community cannot be sure that there really are substantive safety issues around Rivett either.

The government's claims, says Mrs Tullis of Save Our Schools, regarding school closures have repeatedly been proven to be ill-based or incorrect. What SOS is concerned about and what I am concerned about is that these schools had to be closed because of that projected budget deficit of $80 million, and now that $80 million


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