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Canberra Times . . Page.. 1422 ..

MR SPEAKER: Ms Follett, do you have a supplementary question?

MS FOLLETT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I repeat to the Minister that I asked for advice on whom the letter was to. Was it to the student involved? Was it to the school? Was it to the department? I do not seek any information which might identify personally the student or the school. I think it is more than appropriate that I make the request of the Minister to tell us whom he wrote to, and I find it extraordinary that he has again resorted to this kind of secrecy. Mr Speaker, my supplementary question to the Minister refers again to his statement in which he says that the letter came from his office. I note that he will not tell us who signed it, whether it was him, his senior staffer, a DLO, or a totally innocent bystander. He will not even tell us that much. Mr Speaker, the one bit of information that the Minister has proffered is that that letter from his office, presumably on his behalf, gave advice on what action should be taken in relation to the assessment of this student. My question, Mr Speaker, is this: How can a letter proffering that advice not be a directive on the matter?

MR STEFANIAK: Ms Follett, if you have a look at the rest of the statement and have a look at the rest of the information that has been flying around here for the last couple of years - I am sorry; the last couple of days - I think that would be apparent.

Mr Moore: It seems like years.

MR STEFANIAK: It does, Mr Moore. I think you are well aware that there is only one case. As Mr Lamont quite correctly pointed out, it would not be terribly difficult to identify it, even with the action you suggest.

Student Assessment

MR BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Education as well. Minister, I repeat that we do not want the name of the school, we do not want the name of the student, we do not want anybody’s name; we just want to know what you have been up to.

MR SPEAKER: That is a non-question so far, but go on.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, if I was going to ask you a question I would have asked you.

MR SPEAKER: You will not get a chance to ask anybody if you keep this up.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I would like the Minister to explain why he agreed to a highly unusual level of interference in an assessment process. Why did you not leave the process in the hands of those with responsibility to deal with it? Why did you interfere?

MR STEFANIAK: Again, Mr Speaker, I think we have been over this for the last two days. I would also refer Mr Berry to a very succinct two-paragraph report which sums up this situation very well. On page 2 of today's Canberra Times, the sixth paragraph down states:

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