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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . . Page.. 896..

statutory oversight framework for dealing with complaints against police, which involves independent watchdog bodies looking at these matters, and I am confident that those bodies will refer matters to me and draw them to my attention if they believe that that is warranted.


MR COE: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, why did the following statement "Students may be immediately suspended if the safety of students or staff is at risk, or because of serious physical violence, or threats of violence, or the possession of weapons or illegal drugs"appear in the 2007 suspension, exclusion and transfer of students in ACT public school policy but not in the 2010 policy of the same name?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. I refer to my previous answer with regard to the change in the suspensions, exclusions and transfer policy from the 2007 policy to the 2010 policy, which I will repeat again for Mr Coe's understanding.

There has actually been no change in the position of the directorate with regard to violence or threats of violence in schools. Violence or the threat of violence is not tolerated in schools. As I said previously, section 36 of the Education Act refers to the suspension, exclusion and transfer of students by the director-general. The 2010 version of the policy does not use the word "weapons", as it is worded to more closely reflect the requirements of section 36 of the Education Act. By not mentioning specific types of violence, such as the use of weapons, the policy reiterates that no forms of violence or threats of violence are tolerated in our schools.

MR COE: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, how can you say that the policy did not change when in fact the policy changed?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. There is no change in the position, Mr Coe. That is what I said—no change in the position with regard to violence or threats of violence. The wording has been changed, as I said, to reflect the act, and actually to broaden the circumstances under which these suspensions, exclusions and transfers can be applied.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, thank you for providing the talking points that you have provided.

Mr Hargreaves: Point of order, Mr Speaker: you have warned Mr Doszpot enough about preambles to supplementaries. You should pull him up straightaway and just sit him down.

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