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We will not be supporting this motion, because we believe that this is not the appropriate time to be raising such a directive to the Minister. As I have said, we share all the concerns of the Labor Party, as well as some others I have mentioned; but we do not believe that it is constructive to the desired outcome and to students, parents and teachers to make this a highly politicised issue, to be reduced to numbers once again. Instead, we have sought an assurance from the Minister that he will improve the process and that he will listen to key stakeholders. I have a written commitment from him. As I said, we have this assurance, which I believe addresses all the concerns before us.
An options paper will be released soon, and this will be the beginning of an extensive consultation process with all stakeholders, including the Australian Education Union, the P and C and all MLAs. The process will include two round table meetings of all interested parties before a strategy for implementation is formulated with these stakeholders. I hope to have input, as I have strong views on this issue. I have received assurances from Mr Stefaniak that this process is taken seriously and will ensure that the concerns of the P and C Council regarding provision of essential information are taken seriously in the original options paper. These include access to baseline information about the extent of physical fitness in schools and the scope of programs already in place.
I believe that it is counterproductive to achieving a desirable outcome for all to put this motion up before this process is tried out. If it fails, then I would strongly encourage this Assembly to consider a motion along the lines of the one we have before us. However, we do not need another inquiry now if there is a commitment from the Government to conduct the necessary consultation. I understand that much of the baseline information already exists and I have been looking at it for some time. At a later date, if sufficient information is not available to key stakeholders and gaps are found in the information base, then it would be time to look at the issue in more detail again. We also understand that an initiative is being pursued to seek Commonwealth funding for a program of sports trainees in schools. I understand that this does already have widespread support. If, through a cooperative approach to the issue of sport in schools, we can come up with an outcome that all stakeholders are happy with, this will complement such a trainee program and will allow for more individual attention to students in our schools.
MR WOOD (12.10): To respond quickly to Ms Tucker, she said that she did not want to engage in the politics involved in a debate in the Assembly, but she then proceeded to give Mr Stefaniak a short serve about the processes he had adopted and pointed out how inadequate they were. So she actually did engage in that debate. I think the Greens may discover over a period that this Assembly is actually a good place to have that debate to make those sorts of views known directly to the people concerned, whether on that side or this side or the crossbenches. There is a deal of commonality in what we say here. There is broad agreement about the importance of activity, of fitness, of sport in schools. We all agree with that. No-one yet has disputed that. So, in the end, it may be that Mr Stefaniak comes back to the fold and emerges with sensible propositions. I am sure that as he listens further to advice he will do so.