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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2010) . . Page.. 2301 ..


behalf. Professor Caldwell’s research was clearly misrepresented and skewed to suit the purposes of the government. The education committee agreed that the research findings of Professor Brian Caldwell were misused and should not have been used at all to justify these school closures. That is just a bit more history, Ms Hunter.

The minister was also given a slap by Professor Caldwell, in a letter to the committee. In each formal notice of decision to close 11 primary schools in 2006, the research of Professor Caldwell was cited to justify closing the schools because there were fewer than 300 to 400 students. The notice stated that the school concerned is too small, based on Professor Caldwell’s research, and is more likely to be unable to provide an adequate education because of its size. However, this contradicted the professor. And the committee’s report cites the professor’s information. That is just another indication, Ms Hunter, why we want to have something more rigorous in place than what has been presented here today.

Mrs Dunne pointed out quite clearly that, when communities do want to fight back through the processes that you think are available to them, this government get down and dirty in the way they present against these communities. I feel very strongly about the fact that the Flynn community has had to bear the brunt of all of these activities. Certainly, there is nothing that we have seen in the bill that has been presented to give us confidence that this is going to be any different from what we have had to go through and what the community has had to go through in the past. And that is why we are voting against this bill.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): The question is that Ms Hunter’s amendment No 2 be agreed to. All those of that opinion say “aye”—

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (4.32): No, Madam Assistant Speaker, I am on my feet.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Sorry, I thought you were perambulating, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Apology accepted.

Mrs Dunne: Loitering with intent.

MR HARGREAVES: Hang on a second. You people have dribbled on for bloody ages. You can just sit back and suck it up.

When I was sitting upstairs, I was appalled by the hypocrisy of Mrs Dunne in giving this chamber a history of this and then saying, “I am sorry, the closure of some schools when we were in government was a mistake.” Who was working for Gary Humphries at the time? It was Mrs Dunne. I worked in the department of education prior to coming here and actually had to take part in the removal of stuff from the Charnwood high school when it was closed. Was it a Labor government here then? No, it was not.

I would like to ask those opposite to stand up here and fess up to the community consultation they did over the closure of Holder high school, Holder primary school,


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