Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2255 ..
intended to be chronological? When along this process is the minister “considering” to close a school and when is he or she “proposing” to close a school? And, again, why has an appeals process been removed?
ACT Labor’s record on school closures, and now Minister Barr’s support backing the Greens’ amendment, confirms and highlights that our territory is managed by a confederacy of hypocrisy. The very government that has decimated the community through the never-before-seen savage school closures is now in partnership with the third-party insurance that promised to stop this ever happening again.
This proposed bill promises more consultation but it is also laying the path for more sham. At best, it will be business as usual, and the communities of this city deserve better than what they are getting. At worst, this is a political ambush, engineered to pull the wool over our eyes.
To date, the Greens’ record on the issue of school closures has been deficient. They failed to reopen schools, even though the findings of the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs had proven otherwise. They consented to the government’s recommendation to adjourn debate of their own bill in March 2010, after waiting since 2008 to bring it forward. And, oddly given their commitment to the community issues, they adjourned my motion to open up discussion on the Flynn school reopening in October 2009. I would have accepted the government doing that, but I found it very hard to understand how the Greens could shut down discussions on something so much required.
There is a logical inconsistency at work here that we find unpalatable. If the Greens are in favour of an education amendment bill, then, in light of sufficient evidence through the committee hearings on school closures, we would have been championing the same causes and supporting the same communities. Since 2006, the Canberra Liberals have not wavered in our commitment to schools and their importance in local communities. We have fought for the reopening of schools and stood by the communities that sought our support.
With regard to this amendment, we will work hard to ensure that ACT communities get a fair shake when it comes to saving their schools. We know that we can do better than what is being proposed and this is why the opposition will oppose this amendment. We feel there is more that can be done with the Education Amendment Bill, and in its proposed form it is rendered ineffectual. As such, the Canberra Liberals will propose their own education amendment bill.
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 12.31 to 2 pm.
Questions without notice
Canberra Hospital—alleged bullying
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, what is the status of the bullying review into the obstetrics department of the Canberra Hospital recently undertaken and specifically what is the time line for completion of the review?