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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 October 2018) . . Page.. 4148 ..


At the very least, a public apology is warranted. This education minister may not have inflicted the violence that is happening in our schools, but it is this education minister that has an opportunity and an obligation to try to fix it. It may not have started with her, but if she fails to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem, suggests the union is taking care of it and does nothing more than say that she has initiated a nation-leading solution, she should hang her head in shame.

It is within her power to take responsibility, to take leadership and fix the problem. And the honourable thing to do is to take responsibility for the horrendous treatment Melanie and other teachers have suffered in ACT schools and to offer a sincere public apology, on behalf of the government, for what has happened.

If she does not, if she continues to shift blame and rely on spin, it is a clear demonstration of a complete failure on her part as the minister for education—an education minister that has turned her back on our teachers, our students and our community. Neglect, sloth and incompetence are all actions that demand a display of contrition, a demonstration of responsibility. And the minister is guilty on all counts.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 11

Noes 8

Ms Berry

Ms Orr

Miss C Burch

Mr Parton

Ms J Burch

Mr Pettersson

Mr Coe

Mr Wall

Ms Cody

Mr Ramsay

Mrs Dunne

Ms Fitzharris

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Hanson

Mr Gentleman

Mr Steel

Mrs Kikkert

Ms Le Couteur

Ms Lee

Amendment agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Schools—freedom from discrimination

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.16): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the recent reports on the recommendations from the Federal Government’s Religious Freedoms Review, including recommendations to entrench discrimination in the provision of education; and

(b) that according to a recent national poll, an overwhelming 74 per cent of Australians oppose laws allowing religious schools to select students and


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