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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (4 September) . . Page.. 3050 ..

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, Mr Stefaniak did not answer my question, so I will put it in part of my supplementary question. Why is SWOW to be moved to Dickson? Are you not concerned about the fact that most of the students at SWOW said they had left ordinary schools because of harassment?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I am aware of a number of reasons why people go to SWOW. I am also aware of a decline in numbers. I am also aware, as this Government is aware, of the fact that, whichever estimate you take - either the department's or what some of the students have told me - there are only somewhere between 14 and 23 students in Years 11 and 12. Also, Ms McRae, if you have listened to the various talkback shows, if you have looked at the press, if you have had consultations with a number of people, you will have heard very little criticism of people not being included in colleges. It was interesting that one of the SWOW students on the ABC recently, whilst giving a litany of problems she experienced at a high school, indicated that she was going part time to Dickson. Incidentally, a few SWOW students do a few subjects at other colleges.

Ms McRae: We have been hearing lots about Dickson on the radio, too. I would not talk about what we hear in the media.

MR STEFANIAK: Yes, and I do not think they are very impressed. Maybe you would like to hear the other two students from there. Mr Speaker, I think it was conceded that colleges are different from high schools. Students are more mature and it is a very appropriate place for an alternative education program, and certainly a very effective alternative place for what we are proposing, which is to look after those students when they really need it, in the earlier years of high school and, in the case of the current students, Year 8 through to Year 10 attending SWOW now, both on the north side and on the south side.

Acton Peninsula

MS HORODNY: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. In the July edition of the Calvary Hospital newsletter there is an article that refers to the ACT Hospice on Acton Peninsula, and it is the one I am holding. It states:

The demolition of other buildings on the Acton Peninsula is expected to take place during the next six months. However, we have been given every assurance that there will be minimal disruption to the hospice and its services.

It seems that the ACT Hospice knows more about what is happening on Acton Peninsula than we do here in the Assembly. Could the Chief Minister advise whether the demolition of the hospital buildings on Acton Peninsula is going to start during the next six months, as stated in the newsletter? What will be the cost of this and who is paying for it? Why is it necessary, given that the Commonwealth Government has not yet decided what it will do with the Acton site?

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