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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2726 ..

MR SPEAKER: Could we have the question, Mr Whitecross.

MR WHITECROSS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you tell us what the pupil-staffing ratio is at Malkara school? Can you tell us whether the same ratio will be maintained for supervising students from the Malkara school participating in holiday programs? If not, why not?

MR STEFANIAK: As I indicated yesterday to Mr Whitecross, one of the main reasons that the Government is actually - - -

Mr Wood: Repetition.

MR STEFANIAK: It is rather repetitious; it is a repetitious question. One of the main reasons why the Government is actually embarking on this better program is the difficulties of recruiting staff to Malkara and the correct numbers of staff and relief staff.

Ms McRae: Try answering the question.

Mr Humphries: The same problems that you had.

MR STEFANIAK: Yes, the same problems that you had last year; a lot of relief staff - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: The Minister has missed the point of the question. It was about pupil-staffing ratios. It would be a good idea if he gave us a bit of an answer on the issue.

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Berry: If you cannot give an answer, give up. "I give up" will do. Trevor is waiting. Trevor wants to move in.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I call Mr Stefaniak.

MR STEFANIAK: As I indicated yesterday, if extra staff are needed for the new program, they will be hired; the funding is there to cover that. It is important to have the correct number of staff to assist students, and that is something which the Government is very keen to ensure, and will ensure, in relation to the new program. One of the problems with the 1995 program was the difficulty in getting sufficient staff.

Mr Berry: Will it be smaller or bigger?

MR STEFANIAK: It will be completely appropriate. Extra workers will be hired, if needed. I said that yesterday.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I call Mr Whitecross on a supplementary question, not in answer to an interjection.

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