Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2022) . . Page.. 1184 ..
MS CLAY: Minister, will the verbal feedback provided during the information sessions be recorded and be considered as feedback?
MR GENTLEMAN: There has been recording of the sessions, and that is taken into consideration as we consult on the bill.
MR BRADDOCK: Minister, are you planning to run additional sessions outside working hours before the end of the consultation period, like you did for the district planning discussions last year?
MR GENTLEMAN: There will be that work, as I said, for the detail stage of the district planning. Of course, if required, we may need to have extra consultation. So far it has been well attended and well received.
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, following the closure of Calwell High School, it has been revealed that in total five Canberra public schools were visited by WorkSafe ACT inspectors in term 1. The concerns included similar issues to Calwell, including a chronic shortage of staff, with classes of more than 40 students common and classes of over 60 being reported. Minister, what is the status of these five schools currently under investigation by WorkSafe ACT?
MS BERRY: The status is that WorkSafe ACT has visited those schools.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, what is the safe maximum class size and will you advise the Assembly when this maximum number is breached?
MS BERRY: We will work with our school communities, our school staff and their unions around making sure that we implement the enterprise bargaining agreement as far as class sizes are concerned. We have a matrix in place to ensure that schools can return temporarily to remote education, should it be required, as a result of staff shortages that have been exacerbated as a result of COVID.
MR HANSON: Minister, were you aware of these other five schools and the issues with them, including WorkSafe visits, and, if so, why did you not refer to this in the last sitting when this was a matter of debate in this Assembly?
MS BERRY: What I understand is that WorkSafe have visited these schools. As a result of the visit there has not been any other action taken at this stage by WorkSafe. I encourage and am very happy for WorkSafe, as an independent organisation, to visit our schools, or any of our workplaces, to ensure that they are safe for our work staff. We will work closely with them to ensure that our workplaces are safe.
This has been a particularly difficult time for our school communities. We have families who have been isolated from support services, where their children have had complex needs or complicated lives. Our teaching workforce and our school staff have had to pivot back and forth from face-to-face to remote education, meeting the