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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 September 2010) . . Page.. 4274 ..

I think it is important to put on the record now that there are consequences—

Mr Doszpot: You are out of ideas, my friend.

Mrs Dunne: For someone who is in touch with people and the development—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Minister, please resume your seat. Stop the clock. Members of the opposition will come to order. Mrs Dunne, if you wish to engage in the debate, do so in your allotted time. Mr Doszpot, you can make your comments in your closing speech. Any further comment from either of you and I shall warn you. Thank you.

Mr Seselja: A point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker, on your ruling.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Feel free, Mr Seselja.

Mr Seselja: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. It does seem to be a particularly harsh reading of both the standing orders and the practices of this house. There have not been, to me, any over-the-top interjections. There have been a few mild interjections, which are pretty par for the course. I seek your explanation perhaps as to what has led you to be already looking down the path of warnings, given that it has not been particularly loud and it has not been particularly robust yet.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, there are processes for debate. Just because there have been practices in this place which are unacceptable does not mean they can go forward. The Speaker was particularly strong in his comments yesterday, and I shall follow his lead. If you wish to become an Assistant Speaker, there are avenues open to you. If you want to do a better job than I do, you can do one of two things: you can challenge my ruling or you can resign your position to become an Assistant Speaker. It is your choice.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. As I was saying, there are consequences for non-attendance at school, and I think it is important to spend some time in this debate outlining these. Last year, our “learn or earn” laws created the requirement for all children and young people to participate in education until they attain year 10 or equivalent qualification. The law now requires full-time participation in education, training or employment, or a combination of these activities until young people turn 17 or complete year 12. We have broadened the definition of education and made the options more flexible—options like our achievement centres, connect 10 program, apprenticeship and training opportunities and the CC cares program.

As I said at that time, there would be no excuses. Everyone would participate and everyone would be responsible. And that is why there are a range of powers in place to enable school principals to fight truancy and there are a number of tools that are used, some of which the Canberra Liberals may not be aware of.

First, the ACT government introduced an enhanced attendance monitoring and SMS message servicing system for parents.

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