Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2300 ..
giving the communities a means of having a minister’s decision reviewed but she could not think of it so left it to ADJR.
Let us have a little bit of history here for the Greens, who were not here, about what actually happened to a community that had the temerity to question the minister’s decision and take that matter to court. The minister did everything he could to screw that community down. He spent a lot of time ensuring that large amounts of money were extracted from the Flynn community by way of guarantees.
Every attempt at discovery was knocked back by the department. We had to actually change the import and impact of the model litigant guidelines, partly because of the behaviour of the department of education and the minister in response to the Flynn primary school community having the temerity to use the system in the Supreme Court, through ADJR, to find out and get reasons from this minister.
That is the history. Tens of thousands of dollars that was raised by personal pledges through fundraising events was put into the Supreme Court as security so that the community could make some progress. That is what this government and what ACT Labor do to a community that dares to question what they do.
One of the things that we tried to do in previous legislation was make it better. And Ms Hunter here today has said: “It is too hard to make it better. ACAT is not the way to do it. So we will just leave it to ADJR.” But leaving it to ADJR has left a lot of people in this town a lot poorer. That is another reason why this bill fails to meet the basic requirements of the Liberal opposition.
The Liberal opposition will not be supporting this because what the Greens, in cahoots with Mr Barr, are proposing to do, if there is another community like Flynn that is confronted with a school closure and wants to take legal action in the matter, is to put that community in the same situation.
Ms Hunter, who is an elected representative of the people of Flynn, has said that the way that the people of Flynn were treated was okay. The extent of deposit that was required by the government just about broke the Flynn community. Is that the way she wants her constituents treated by Andrew Barr and his successors? I think the answer must be yes. But it is not the way I want my constituents treated.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (4:29): There have been a number of things said this afternoon about misrepresentation. The misrepresentation by this minister was one of the significant things that were looked at during the school closures inquiry. The school closures inquiry made many damning findings that highlighted how the minister for education at the time, Mr Barr, proceeded to close schools for no sound reasons, based on flawed data, with invalid information on school size and school performance and with no social impact study whatsoever. This is the minister you are wanting to trust with a lot of amendments that have been made so far. That is what we do not go along with.
The misrepresentation of significant evidence suggesting that small schools were viable, namely, Professor Caldwell’s report, is another failure on this government’s