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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (21 September) . . Page.. 3003..


Thursday, 21 September 2006

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Petitions

The following petitions were lodged for presentation:

Schools—closures

By Ms Porter, from 117 residents:

TO THE SPEAKER AND MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention of the Assembly:

- the long-standing importance placed on preservation of Cook Primary School by the ALP's ACT Branch, as evidenced in a letter dated 8 February 1991 from Rosemary Follett, then Labor leader, to the then President of Cook P&C Association, in which Ms Follett states:

"I write to assure the Cook community of the ALP's commitment to re-open Cook Primary School... We are as much concerned for the long term role of the school as for the immediate re-opening... The Cook community can be assured of the support of the Labor Party in aiming to provide the best possible education system for their children. The retention and provision of neighbourhood schools is essential to that aim."

- that Cook Primary School remains a school of the highest quality, superbly serving both its immediate community and the wider ACT education community in the following respects, among others:

1. One of few schools in the ACT operating at near capacity—91 per cent full;

2. Cost-effective and exhibiting all the qualities of good schools expressed in the Towards 2020 vision including modern educational infrastructure and a tightly integrated P-6 education;

3. Providing a supportive learning environment for students from diverse backgrounds with a range of educational needs, especially ESL students and children with learning difficulties;

4. A successful model of integration of schooling and private and community leasing with tenants including the ACT Playgroups Association and the Canberra Youth Ballet School

Your petitioners request the Assembly to note both the sustained history by which Cook Primary School has been recognised as, in effect, a jewel in the crown of ACT education and the very high value of Cook Primary School to the Cook community, the Belconnen community and the ACT community.

Your petitioners therefore also request the Assembly to resolve, firstly, to press the present ACT government to recognise the importance of rescinding the current


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