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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 4338..


MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, the education, training and youth affairs committee recently reported to the Assembly on your school closures program and made several recommendations, including that the schools in Tharwa and Hall be reopened immediately. What preparations have you made to reopen these schools?

MR BARR: The government is currently considering the report of the committee and will respond in due course.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, will you reopen these schools?

MR BARR: The government is currently considering the committee report and will respond in due course.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: In considering the position put forward by the education, training and youth affairs committee, will you take into account, minister, that this view expressed by the committee was in fact a majority view of the Assembly?

MR BARR: I am aware that the committee report was dissented from by Ms Burch, that there was a dissenting report from Mr Hanson, and that there was a dissenting report from Ms Bresnan. There was also agreement on a range of recommendations. As I have indicated, the government will respond to the committee report in detail in due course.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Burch, a supplementary question?

MS BURCH: Yes, a supplementary. Would the minister be able to provide costings that should be pursued in reopening the schools?

MR BARR: One of the relevant considerations in relation to the committee report will be the costs associated with each of the recommendations—not just recommendation 13 that appears to obsess those opposite. Many of the other recommendations also have significant cost implications. Recommendation 13, at first glance, would appear to be the most expensive of all of the recommendations. I have made a number of statements in relation to the government's initial response, and that is to state absolutely categorically that not one cent of funding will be taken from another school to implement any of the recommendations of the committee.

I think it is an important assurance to provide to each and every school community that they will not have capital projects that are already approved ripped out from under them, nor will they have one cent of teaching resources or other special education resources—literacy and numeracy resources, pastoral care resources, special resources for Indigenous education—taken from them. Not one cent will be

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