Page 913 - Week 03 - Thursday, 7 April 2022

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Questions without notice


MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Minister, since WorkSafe ACT placed a prohibition order on Calwell High School for being unsafe, you have stated repeatedly that those types of incidents are “very rare”. The Australian Education Union ACT has bluntly refuted this claim. Branch president Angela Burroughs said:

In response to Minister Berry saying that incidents of violence in Canberra schools are rare, that is the situation we wish was present, but it is not the reality ...

The last quarter report indicated that more than 1,600 incidences had been reported across ACT schools.

Of those, the majority of them are occupational violence incidents, and 71 per cent related to assaults. They’re not from just one or two schools, they’re from a cross section of schools.

Minister, why did you say in this chamber and in public that violence in our schools is very rare, when the union says that is simply not true?

MS BERRY: The Leader of the Opposition needs to read the rest of the article, where it says that critical instances like this one—

Ms Lee: It is a direct quote from the union.

MS BERRY: There is a direct quote from me as well, Ms Lee, that says that critical incidents like this one are rare. Yes, we do record incidents across schools. We encourage the reporting of incidents across schools—

Ms Lee interjecting—

Mr Hanson interjecting—


MS BERRY: so that we can ensure that we are able to support those schools in responding to any incidents—

Ms Lee: The union says, “In response to Minister Berry.”

MS BERRY: Mr Acting Speaker, it is very difficult to provide a succinct response when I am getting continuous interruptions.

Mr Hanson: Or a truthful one, it would appear.

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