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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2108..


MRS CARNELL: It is hypothetical, but it does not matter. I have already answered the question. Obviously, we were very concerned about the closure of the service from 12 midnight to 8.00 am, which is the reason that all the calls were redirected to other services. The calls did not just ring out, Mr Connolly; they were redirected. All other relevant emergency services were given 24 hours' notice of the closure, simply so that that could not possibly happen. I think that was a very appropriate approach that was taken by the service.

School Closures

MR BERRY: My question is to Mr Stefaniak in his capacity as Minister for Education. Minister, in line with your decision to strangle Charnwood High School to closure, can you now - - -

Mr Moore: Look at the man behind you, Wayne.

MR BERRY: Mr Moore interjects, and so he ought to. This man ought to be back-pedalling away from his decision yesterday.

Mr Moore: He is not back-pedalling at all.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Moore should not interject. Ask your question, Mr Berry.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: House of Representatives Practice makes it quite clear that healthy interjections are part of the normal parliamentary process.

MR SPEAKER: That may be the case in the House of Representatives. I only wish that the interjections were intelligent, or even occasionally witty.

MR BERRY: As you have the standing orders within your reach, Mr Speaker, I am sure you will not be able to confirm that nervous or back-pedalling interjections are allowed either. Mr Stefaniak, will you confirm, in light of your decision to strangle Charnwood High School to closure, that it is your intention to allow no schools in Mr Moore's electorate to close at the expense of schools in your own?

MR STEFANIAK: What a cruddy question! What a dreadful question, Mr Speaker! In relation to the question, this Government is here to do a job, and to do the best job it possibly can. Mr Moore actually has made some very good points in the debate in relation to Charnwood High School. One was that if you people over there had acted two years earlier we might not have faced this situation. Something might have been able to be done. Because of six years' declining enrolments, unfortunately a course of action had to be taken. I advise the Assembly that the school board met last night and decided to amalgamate with Ginninderra. As this Government said yesterday, as the Chief Minister herself guaranteed, we will assist them in that decision, including such things as bussing students to Ginninderra for two years. Ginninderra High may have a new name. We will see what the school communities want. It is the best possible option for those students, in the opinion of the board, everything being considered.


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