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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4696 ..

MR DE DOMENICO: That is asking for an opinion, Mr Speaker, but I can answer the question this way: It went through an exhaustive interview. We put out a tender, Ms Tucker, as you know. Jobline were invited and did in fact tender for the placement program as well. I recall that seven companies were interviewed. The people who interviewed included, I think, two people from BASAT, the chairperson of the local CES and one other person. In answer to your question, I am advised that the best applicant got the nod on that basis. The best applicant getting the nod, I am confident that the people who used to use Jobline will be very satisfied with the new service.

MS TUCKER: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Mr De Domenico, why is it, then, that this new service is turning away former Jobline clients and telling them that they need to get training before the service can place them in employment?

MR DE DOMENICO: I do not know, Mr Speaker. If Ms Tucker would like to give me the details, I will look into it.

School Without Walls

MS FOLLETT: My question is directed to Mr Stefaniak as Minister for Education. Minister, in relation to the School Without Walls, which organisation do you as the Minister and your department recognise as fulfilling the role and functions of the P and C for SWOW? Is it the organisation called Friends of SWOW and, if not, why not?

MR STEFANIAK: My understanding, Ms Follett, is that SWOW has a school board. I really do not know the composition of the P and C of SWOW. There is a group which I understand is called Friends of SWOW. What capacity it has in terms of SWOW, though, is not immediately apparent to me. I know that that particular group, if you are trying to get something untoward or funny out of the question, has an action in the court on Friday. We will see what happens in relation to that. As to whether they are legally the P and C or not, I am sorry I cannot answer that question for you.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Do the P and C and the organisation which acts as the P and C perform a vital function in the wellbeing of Canberra's government schools, and do they deserve to have a say in decisions affecting their schools?

MR STEFANIAK: P and Cs play an excellent role in government schools. Parents and friends, or whatever they are called in the non-government system, play an excellent role in that system. The school boards play an excellent role in the government school system. Those organisations - the P and Cs and the school boards - have considerable input, and always have had since they have been going in our school system, and will continue to do so, Ms Follett.

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