Page 4258 - Week 14 - Thursday, 24 October 1991

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MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Berry, my advice is that the debate must be adjourned if we break for lunch, unlike private members' sittings when it automatically closes at 12.30 pm. There must be a motion to adjourn debate until a later hour, and that is the course that I will follow. The question now is: That the debate be adjourned.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question now is: That the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for a later hour this day.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm


New Non-Government Schools

DR KINLOCH: My question is to Mr Wood, the Minister for Education. Can he explain the present policy on Montessori schools? I understand that there are other schools of an experimental nature, such as Steiner schools. Can they establish themselves in the Territory?

Mr Kaine: Particularly at Hackett.

MR WOOD: Yes, Dr Kinloch, they can; but they have to follow certain procedures. In a sense there are two blockages to the Montessori school establishing itself at Hackett, as Mr Kaine interjects, Curtin, Yarralumla or somewhere else. The first of those is that the present Government - and, I think, at certain times Federal governments in the past - has determined that it is not a sound proposition to close a government school and then immediately install a non-government school in that building. It simply does not make sense to do that, especially if a government school has been closed with allegedly low numbers and a new non-government school goes in there with perhaps even lower numbers. There is quite a gap in logic, I am sure you will agree.

There is a second blockage, and that is the policy of the Federal Government. That Government has established in the ACT, as it has elsewhere in Australia, a new schools committee, and all proposals for new non-government schools are passed through that committee. Any new school that is proposed to be opened in an old area, an established part, of any city will get a low priority for approval for recurrent funding. Effectively, that low priority means that it is not an approval.

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