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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 636 ..

MR STEFANIAK: I do not quite follow the member's question. I was invited by the principal of a school to address a meeting. In terms of my issuing directives to students taking strike action, I am not quite sure what the member is really talking about there. What sort of directions would I give to students taking strike action? A number of actions were taken by students. I addressed one rally in Garema Place.

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Perhaps the Minister would like the member to read the question again so that he can better understand it.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, although if the Minister is unsure of the direction of the question he can, of course, ask for clarification. Would you like to clarify it, Mr Wood?

Mr Wood: Well, I do not know; he has not finished his first part yet.

MR SPEAKER: He may have difficulty finishing any of it if he does not know what the question is about.

MR STEFANIAK: In terms of the action taken, both the Chief Minister and I spoke with students. I addressed one lot here. The Chief Minister saw another lot. I may have issued a suggestion - it was not a directive - that Deakin High School students might like to come to see me when I was at a "Meet the Minister" meeting, because they had a few interesting points of view. Some kids from Deakin High School did turn up. That was certainly a suggestion that I made, because they were concerned about the effects that the bans were having. Yes, I certainly suggested that that particular high school might come and see me. They did. I had a very good, detailed and frank talk with the very articulate representatives of Deakin High School.

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I did not understand his answer.

MR SPEAKER: That is all right; most of us did not understand your question.

MR WOOD: The question was quite clear. I asked quite explicitly whether the Minister had sufficient interest in what was happening to have some discussion and input into the processes. Obviously he did not, so he demonstrates a complete lack of interest in what is happening at the student level in our schools.

MR SPEAKER: Is that a supplementary question?

MR WOOD: No. There is no supplementary question.

MR SPEAKER: It was a point of personal explanation.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Wood, both the Chief Minister and I have seen a number of students. I think that shows a lot of interest. I am very concerned, Mr Wood, about the effects that the bans are having on students. I have received a number of representations from parents and students as to the effects that the bans have on eisteddfods, interschool sports, school camps and things like that. I have consistently asked, as have other

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