Page 4162 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 October 1991

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Corporal punishment in all schools, public and private, should be prohibited by law.

The response by the ACT Government is that corporal punishment is prohibited in public schools but not in private schools. Clearly, the issue of violence goes across both sectors of education. What action are you now going to take to respond to the recommendation on violence and the use of corporal punishment in private schools? I am quite happy, by the way, Chief Minister, if you wish to pass that question to Mr Wood.

MS FOLLETT: I thank Mr Moore for that concession. It is a matter that concerns the Minister for Education, and I think I will ask him to respond to the question.

MR WOOD: Let me reaffirm that corporal punishment is prohibited in government schools. Most non-government schools, to my knowledge, do not allow corporal punishment. They all discourage corporal punishment. But I cannot say emphatically that there is no corporal punishment in all non-government schools. I am informed that they are moving to that position. I will discuss with them a very rapid move to that position so that, say, by the beginning of next year there will be no corporal punishment in those schools. Bear in mind, of course, that we do not have any legislative control over those schools.

Jindalee Nursing Home - Staffing

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister for Health. In the light of the trenchant criticism Mr Berry made of the Alliance Government's staffing policies with respect to Jindalee Nursing Home, will he explain specifically how his staffing policies for that home now differ from those of the Alliance Government?

MR BERRY: The issue of staffing within ACT Board of Health facilities is one which is, of course, of concern to Labor in the context of our most recent budget. Staffing arrangements, in the light of that budget, will be the subject of very detailed and open negotiations and consultation with relevant unions as we move towards a better and more efficient health system.

That means that the process of dealing with the budget is a complex one and one that it will take some time to work through. At the end of the day, the board have said they will deliver the Government's budget. The staffing issue, of course, is central to delivering the budget, and that is a matter which has to be dealt with in the way that I have outlined. That is where we stand apart from the former Government. We have an entirely different approach to dealing with staffing matters in health facilities - and all other facilities, for that matter.

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