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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . .

Page.. 1309..


MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, was any area of the education directorate asked for permission by the school concerned to construct the cage-like structure, and were permission and funding formally provided?

MS BURCH: Those are very good questions and form part of the internal HR review.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, how did the directorate become aware of this structure, and when was action first taken by the directorate?

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, I did not hear the second part of that.

MR WALL: When was action first taken by the directorate?

MS BURCH: A number of these questions are part of the internal investigation that is currently underway, and I think that process needs to be resolved, in fairness to all. Going back to my response, whilst it may not satisfy you, my office became aware of the department only being aware on 26 and 27 March. If there is other information that comes forth as part of the internal investigation then so be it.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: I will ask the minister again: how did the directorate become aware of this structure, and why did it take from 27 March until 2 April for your directorate and for you as minister for education to make public information about the structure that was dismantled a week prior?

MS BURCH: Again, it would have been helpful to let me finish the first answer. My office became aware that there was a complaint to the Human Rights Commission. And, please, be patient, because it does set out a time frame. On the Friday, the directorate visited the school involved and ordered the removal of the structure. That was the first time that my office became aware of the content of the complaint—on the Friday.

The structure was removed, so there was no immediate concern for me, other than a whole lot of other stuff around it. On Monday I sought advice. On Tuesday I sought more advice. At that point action was put in place, on the Tuesday. That also included taking the time on Wednesday to give notice to the board, the P&C and families, and I went public on Thursday with all of that. That explains the time line.

Mr Wall: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order.

Mr Wall: It is on relevance. The first part of the question was: how did the directorate become aware? The minister has been asked this twice and has still failed to answer.


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