Page 738 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 5 April 2022

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MS BERRY: The Education Directorate will work through the notice that has been provided by Worksafe with regard to the issues and the incident particularly that has arisen at this school. We have already responded in part to part of the issues that Worksafe has raised around removing some of those students from the school community to receive remote education. In that case it would be the years 7 and 8 cohort that are on an excursion. We will continue to do that work with Worksafe and all the stakeholders within the school communities at Calwell to ensure that the school community can be assured that Calwell is a great school and a safe school. We will continue to do that work.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, why did it take an injured person and external intervention for serious action to be taken?

MS BERRY: As I said previously, the Education Directorate has already been working with Calwell to provide the additional supports that it needed earlier last year, and has been continuing that work. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has exacerbated the circumstances around that school with regard to school replacements. That is the case. There is no hiding from that reality.

MR HANSON: Minister, when will the directorate comply with the requirements of the Worksafe direction?

MS BERRY: I have already said that the Education Directorate has complied in part with the directions under the Worksafe notice with regard to removing those two cohorts from the school community to attend their otherwise pre-organised excursions and to access remote education when it is required.

Mr Hanson: When will the kids be back? When will it be safe?

MS BERRY: When will you get COVID-19, Jeremy? When are you going to get it?

Mr Hanson: Last week, actually.

MS BERRY: When are you going to get it, Elizabeth Lee? This is ridiculous. You cannot predict when you are going to get COVID-19.

Mr Hanson: I have a point of order. Throwing those sorts of accusations to members about our personal health conditions instead of answering questions about a very serious issue in schools is unparliamentary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Berry, please go to the question with no other commentary, please.

MS BERRY: The suggestion that our schools can predict when they will get COVID-19 in their school communities is ridiculous, and that is what we have been hearing from the Canberra Liberals. In fact the case is that our schools are well prepared in the event that there are vacancies.

Opposition members interjecting

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