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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1466..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, given all of those factors, I want to know whether or not the owner is fully upholding their obligations in relation to the rental and lease arrangements that are in place with tenants at the long-stay caravan park. I want to know what options are open to residents and potentially to the government to ensure that residents are treated fairly in regard to the matter. I think the way that this matter has been conducted in the last 24 to 48 hours is disgraceful. It is disgraceful for people to be told through a letter from a senior partner of Clayton Utz, "Pay your rent, pay it through a company that simply has a GPO box and, by the way, you will need to find somewhere else to live after the end of November."I think that is a pretty crook way of dealing with people. It does not show respect and it does not have regard to the particular circumstances of those residents.

If the government can intervene in this process then we will do so. But at this stage I need to understand whether there are any options open to the government to make sure that people are properly treated through this process, and I am happy to keep the Assembly informed as we go forward.

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. If the government discovers that there are no paths open to it by which to ensure that people have a reasonable chance to stay in that location—

MR SPEAKER: Dr Foskey, that is a hypothetical question. Such questions are not allowed.

DR FOSKEY: How will the government act if its attempts are not successful?

MR SPEAKER: The question is hypothetical and such questions are not permitted.

DR FOSKEY: Oh, is it? Don't governments think?

MR SPEAKER: The standing orders specifically rule out hypothetical questions.

Schools—closures

MR SESELJA: My question is to the minister for education. The Labor Party's platform, as located on the party's web site, states that it is party policy "to retain buildings of schools that have been closed for community use where practicable and reopen them if demographic projections indicate it is warranted". As education minister, will you be complying with this provision of the platform or will you move for this provision to be amended or removed, allowing you more easily to sell off the land of closed schools?

MR BARR: The Labor Party's platform is indeed a very important document and I am very pleased that the shadow minister has taken so much time to read it. I think that the key point there, Mr Seselja, is "where practicable". Where it is practicable, we will. So the short answer to your question is: yes, of course the platform is a very important guiding document for Labor Party members and for ministers.

I will be, in announcing a package of renewal for ACT public schools in the next month, looking to maximise student outcomes across the territory, as I have said before. That


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