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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 2453..


MR BARR (continuing):

My position is very clear: there have been examples in the past where non-government schools wished to be involved in the public review process in relation to government schools. We collaborated on the new curriculum framework, for example, despite much criticism from the then shadow minister about the involvement of independent schools in that at the time. Nonetheless, that collaboration occurred with the active involvement of the non-government school sector at their invitation. But it is not standard practice for a review of government schooling to be extended to the non-government sector. I give a couple of further examples: the school-based management review and school safety policies and bullying. Perhaps it would be appropriate—I am happy to discuss this with the non-government school sector—that they be involved in the safe schools task force in the future, because bullying extends across all schools.

So what has changed in relation to my position? I have had a formal approach from non-government schools to be included in the elements of the Shaddock review that are relevant to non-government schools. The vast majority of the areas that Professor Shaddock is examining are not relevant to non-government schools, because they do not have education provision of that type.

Hospitals—advertising

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, during the estimates process it was discovered that you personally intervened on behalf of the Labor Party in the facilitation of filming Labor Party political ads in Canberra Hospital. Your colleague Andrew Barr said of the same issue:

It would have been improper for me as minister to have sought advantage for my political party in relation to such a request.

Minister, how do you reconcile your personal involvement in party political based advertisements against the statement of your ministerial colleague?

MS GALLAGHER: As I told the estimates committee, I did not personally organise the filming of the advertisement at the Canberra Hospital. But, in a phone call with the chief executive—and I have to confess that I do speak to the chief executive of ACT Health probably at the moment around six times a day—in one of those conversations I had with him, I mentioned there would be an approach and would facilities be available for this use if an approach was made. He indicated to me that he would be the person who considered that; that the facilities, if the terms were agreed on how to use them, would be made available to any candidate in the election. And that was the end of the conversation. I did not organise the advertising in the Canberra Hospital, but I certainly had a conversation where I inquired as to whether that was something ACT Health would consider.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you. Minister, why do you believe it was proper for you as minister to seek political advantage for your political party by making such a request?


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