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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 1995) . . Page.. 1388 ..


QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Student Assessment

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I seek leave of the house to give some additional information relating to matters that were raised during question time.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, having looked at the Opposition's questions over the last two days, it is clear that there is some confusion over my role in relation to the assessment of a particular secondary student. In order to clear up this confusion I intend to clarify my role and put to rest any misunderstandings. Some of the confusion relates to whether or not I issued a ministerial directive to the department to carry out certain actions. I am aware of a letter which was sent from my office in July and which gave advice on action that would be taken in relation to the assessment of a student. That was not a directive. The advice had been fully discussed with the Department of Education and Training and staff from senior secondary studies. This advice took the form of oral and written briefings, and it was advice with which I ultimately agreed. It was not a course of action that I decided unilaterally.

I reiterate my offer to all members of this Assembly to provide a full briefing on this matter. It is a highly confidential and highly sensitive matter. It is not something that I can divulge details of publicly because it concerns a particular student. I should add that it relates to a long-running issue that certainly predates my time as Minister, as I am sure Mr Wood would be well aware.

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (4.51): Mr Speaker, could I move that the document be tabled? I am referring to the statement he just read. It is a statement.

MR SPEAKER: I am advised that you can move under standing order 213 that a briefing note be tabled.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, it is not a briefing note; it is a statement which the Minister read. I move:

That the document the Minister quoted from be tabled.

MR SPEAKER: I am advised by the Minister that it is a briefing note. I am not in a position to judge whether it is a letter, a briefing note or a billet-doux; but you can move that it be tabled if you wish.

Mr Humphries: We are not normally asked to table these documents. They are briefing notes for us to use.

MR SPEAKER: There is a convention. I would have to agree with Mr Humphries.


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