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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 7 Hansard (17 June) . . Page.. 2458..


Roads—funding

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns the environmental impact statement for the proposed Majura highway. Minister, given that the government has not yet secured funding to build the parkway and the EIS says that major ecological impacts will result from the road, does the government accept that it could extend the time to consult on the EIS without, in fact, affecting the project's timing?

MR BARR: I would need to take some advice from the Department of Territory and Municipal Services—it is not my project—as to whether the project could be impacted by an extension of the EIS. My understanding is that there is some funding available to commence work, although it may, in fact, be at the airport end of that proposed road project, rather than extending all the way through the Majura valley. I will need to seek some advice in relation to that matter. I am not in a position to declare one way or other at this point in time.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: I suspect you may have to seek advice on this also, but it is the same question. Given the complexity and seriousness of the Majura Parkway EIS, which is huge, can you guarantee that the government will hold public information sessions about it which will cover the major ecological concerns and the alternative route options that were considered for the road?

MR BARR: I will not be making any policy on the run at this point. I will take the question on notice and provide some further information in the fullness of time.

Schools—bullying

MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Barr. Minister, the Canberra Times of Thursday, 4 June carried the story of alleged bullying at Kingsford Smith school, including an assault on a year 7 student. The article also claims that the Kingsford Smith super school does not have a current bullying policy and has operated for almost the past two terms without such a policy. Minister, has the school's countering bullying, harassment and violence policy been ratified by the school board and why the lengthy delay?

MR BARR: There is a policy in place for all ACT public schools, and it has been in place for some time now. That policy was developed in conjunction with parents and citizens associations, the Australian Education Union, the Australian Federal Police and a number of other stakeholders who have been involved. In more recent times, I have extended the membership of the state schools task force to include representatives from my Youth Advisory Council and I am also actively considering extending this initiative into non-government schools and discussing that matter with them.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?


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