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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2298 ..

Mr Whitecross: Mr Speaker, further to the point of order, the standing orders also preclude Ministers being repetitious in their answers. Mr Stefaniak has told us in three different ways that since SWOW was established there have been secondary colleges; he has told us in three different ways that it was established in the 1970s; he has told us in three different ways that people 15 and over or in Year 10 and above get to go to the school. How many times does he have to repeat it before you consider it to be repetitious?

MR SPEAKER: I do not uphold Ms Follett's point of order on a ministerial statement. However, I would hope that the Minister would draw his answer to a conclusion as soon as possible. Certainly, though, I would caution the Minister, as I do everybody, both in questions and in answers, on being repetitious.

Mr Kaine: Brevity is beautiful.

MR STEFANIAK: It is, indeed, Mr Kaine. Mr Speaker, I believe that it is important to maintain alternative pathways for such students. So, there is no question in my mind about closing the School Without Walls. But it does have to change - and probably to change radically - so that it can fulfil its new role. It has to be able to meet the wide range of special needs of its younger clientele.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, obviously, this Minister is going to ignore you. He has moved on to another page of a very long written answer, which could really have been dealt with in a ministerial statement. If he wants to seek leave, he should do it. There is an issue here. Mr Speaker, you have tolerated all of these Ministers taking ages with the answers to questions.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It is not unusual to have long replies here. Some questions elicit long replies; others elicit a simple, one-word answer, as I think Mr De Domenico gave yesterday.

Mr Hird: Mr Speaker, I draw your attention to standing order 118A. I have tried to get an answer, and I would like them to stop interrupting.


MR STEFANIAK: We realise that we will have to consult fully with parents, teachers, students and the governing board of SWOW before any decisions are made about it. We are doing all these things. When the report on SWOW becomes available, I will ensure that members of the Assembly are fully informed of developments.

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