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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (14 November) . . Page.. 3444..


MR BARR (continuing):

The only one that is slightly different is the extension of years 11 and 12 in a secondary school format but, as I have indicated, that used to operate in the ACT and currently operates in the private sector. So it is not some radical new proposal that has not been heard of before. We are engaging in a conversation with the community around that proposal. If there were not strong support for it, the government would not go ahead with it.

MRS DUNNE: Could the minister explain to the Assembly where there is in the ACT a stand-alone middle school of the sort proposed for the Melba cluster?

MR BARR: There isn't a stand-alone middle school in the ACT system at the moment. There are, however, a number of schools that do have a middle school program and do seek, if you like, to have a middle school focus within discrete buildings within their overall structure. As I said, in essence what the government has put forward are not models that are significantly different from those that currently operate within the system. However, as Mrs Dunne has identified, there was a proposal, one of a series of options put forward for the north-west Belconnen region, for a stand-alone middle school and we have been receiving feedback on that proposal. It is one on which there are mixed views in the community, I acknowledge, and we will take all of those views into account when making our final decisions at the conclusion of the consultation process.

Schools-closures

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, submissions about the so-called school renewal program, Towards 2020, were due on Friday, 3 November. When will those submissions which have been cleared by the submission makers for publication be made available to the public, and by what means?

MR BARR: I thank Mrs Burke for the question. As members would be aware, we asked for written submissions to be provided by 3 November. I have, however, extended that deadline to the conclusion of the consultation process on 6 December. I felt it was important that anyone who may have missed the original deadline who still wanted to provide feedback to the government could do so right up until the conclusion of the consultation process on 6 December.

A number of organisations have already made their submissions public by publishing them on their own websites. Depending on the format in which submissions have arrived, the government is able to make a large number of them available on line and we will seek to do so. There are others that may, for varying reasons, take a little bit longer to get on line.

It would be my intention that the submissions that were marked for public release will be available on the Towards 2020 website. There are, however, a large number of submissions that are private. The people who submitted them have indicated that they wish those submissions to remain private.


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