Page 4158 - Week 13 - Thursday, 25 November 1993

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Mr Lamont: When you closed your schools.

MR HUMPHRIES: That is the point, because we did close schools. How many teaching positions did we lose when we closed those schools?

Mr Lamont: Yes, but not 25.

MR HUMPHRIES: How many teaching positions did we lose?

Mr Lamont: We stopped you closing the 25. We stopped you doing the slash and burn.

MR HUMPHRIES: Of course, Madam Speaker, Mr Lamont knows, because he is trying to talk over me. He knows that we did not lose a single one. No teaching positions were lost when we closed schools in 1990 and 1991.

Mr Berry: But how many principals did you lose?

MR HUMPHRIES: They were not teaching positions. The principals did not teach, and any deputy principals who taught had their teaching hours transferred to another school. So there was not one change in the student-teacher ratio under our government. That was because we decided that teaching numbers were important. I almost hesitate to say it, but that now stands as almost a golden age in education when teacher-student ratios were being preserved. They certainly are not being preserved under this Government.

Debate interrupted.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2.30 pm

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, in accordance with temporary order 74, the resumption of debate on Division 230 of the Schedule to the Appropriation Bill 1993-94 is fixed for a later hour this day.


ACTEW - Water Pollution

MRS CARNELL: Madam Speaker, my question without notice is to the Minister for Urban Services. I refer the Minister to statements he has made about a recent leak of partly treated effluent into Lake Burley Griffin which was sourced to a broken sewer in the Jerrabomberra Creek area. The Minister stated publicly that, between 9 August and 23 October when the leak was found, ACTEW scientists had thought that the problem was due to animal droppings and not effluent from the fractured pipe and that that was the reason that they had not told the public. A signed briefing note sent from ACTEW to a Canberra media organisation on 9 November stated:

... further investigation following on from heavy rain removed cattle from the equation. Follow up sampling and testing over a period that extended to 23 September led the scientists to suspect that the excess nutrients were coming from the sewerage network ...

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