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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2003 ..

Mr Berry: Let a viable community make up their own mind.

MR MOORE: Were they viable? Yes, they were viable. They were in country South Australia. They received supplementation. Those are the sorts of issues that are part of how I will be making my decision. There are also the budget issues that Mr Osborne and Mrs Carnell touched on. Mr Speaker, since I have made it very clear publicly that I am intending to move an amendment to the budget to take some money from the Treasurer's Advance and move it to education, for me the budget issue is not an issue as far as education goes, and that does not influence my decision.

There are a couple of other points I wish to make. The first one is the difference between this and the schools closure debates of 1990-91 when Mr Humphries tried to close 25 schools, or was it 35?

Mr Humphries: Five.

MR MOORE: Eventually it came down to five. We certainly know that it started much higher than that, Mr Humphries. In that case we were talking about primary schools, in the vast majority of cases, and we were talking also about a planning issue, the school being the centre of the neighbourhood. I often made the point in that debate that I was not coming at it in that case from an educational direction; I was coming at it from a planning direction, which was why I so enthusiastically fought those primary school closures.

Mr Speaker, there is another factor that I would like to deal with and that is false hope. There is a responsibility on members not to use a situation politically. (Extension of time granted) I think we have a responsibility to ask ourselves, "Is there any chance that this school can be turned around or are we just going to extend the agony?". I think it is inappropriate for us to create a false hope, which is why, Mr Speaker, I think it is very important that this debate is carried through to its conclusion today.

Another issue that was raised was about buses. I recall Ms McRae expressing the concern in the community that children on their way to Ginninderra High would go through the bus interchange, where they would be exposed to all sorts of evil forces and so on. Upon hearing that, my office informed me that there is a bus route, No. 405, that goes from Charnwood to Kippax, next to Ginninderra High, and then up Florey Drive. However, in terms of social justice, there is the issue of extra costs associated with this amalgamation. Mr Osborne has already raised the issue of some of the savings from the closure of this school, or its amalgamation, being used to assist students who are now going to have to travel further distances to Ginninderra High School or other high schools. The Minister for Education has agreed that if this school goes they would be prepared to provide a two-year transition process for that to happen.

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