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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (22 November) . . Page.. 3758..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

In addition, we do not know what will happen to all the shade structures and play gyms that these communities have bought. Yesterday the minister could not answer the question as to whether organisations would have access to school buildings so that they could take possession of their inventory after the schools closed and, if so, for how long. What is the arrangement whereby this minister will help the organisations to wind up their affairs?

What this motion asks for—and what the Canberra Pre-School Society has asked the minister for—is a stay of execution. It is needed so that the community can work out the complicated government structures and find a way through, so that we can create a situation in the future where we have functioning preschools that work in concert with both government and non-government primary schools.

There are considerable concerns that this minister has not addressed. For instance, in 2008 Evatt preschool will combine with Evatt primary school. Will there be two parent bodies? There almost certainly must be unless we change the governance structure of preschools. There still must be a preschool body to run and look after the inventory and the assets of the preschool. That will be the case irrespective of whether the administration is changed and the principal of the primary school becomes the principal of the preschool. We are going to have the crazy situation where a primary school principal is essentially going to have to be accountable to two P&Fs. The minister has not thought about the implications of this.

The Canberra Pre-School Society and other people interested in preschools have raised these issues with the minister, but he does not have any answers. Until this minister has answers, there should be no changes to the current structure of preschools.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.30 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Planning—EpiCentre lease

MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Minister for Planning and relates to the EpiCentre legal advice. Minister, yesterday in the Assembly, in answering a question from me in relation to advice from the ACT Government Solicitor, you stated: "I am not aware of that advice."You subsequently told the media that you had previously seen the advice. Minister, which statement is correct—your statement in the Assembly or your statement to the media? When did you become aware of the advice from the ACT Government Solicitor?

MR CORBELL: It is important to put in context the question that was asked of me yesterday. The question to which I replied, "I am not aware of that advice"was in response to Mr Stefaniak when he said:

My question is to the Minister for Planning. It relates to the EpiCentre sale. Advice provided by the ACT Government Solicitor's office to the government prior to the EpiCentre auction recommended:


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