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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3074 ..

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, the guidelines have been worked up by a number of people in the ministerial advisory council, which includes the P&C. Those guidelines, which I have not seen yet, will be launched very, very shortly. Of course, when I launch the guidelines, I will ensure that I table them at the first appropriate moment in the Assembly.

Mr Berry: Why do you not give them to us? We are interested in this.

MR STEFANIAK: I have not launched them yet. I have not actually seen the final product; it is as simple as that. Mr Berry, I intend launching the guidelines shortly. When I do so, I am quite happy to give you a copy and to table them in the Assembly. I would like to commend the ministerial advisory council, which has done a lot of work on the guidelines, and the various school committees, bodies and individuals who have contributed. I think they have done a very good job. A lot of people have had input. It has taken possibly a little longer than I might have hoped for, but I think it is important to get these things right. School communities should have a chance to have their say, to have a look at the drafts that went out and to make comments so that final guidelines can be decided upon by my council and then sent to me. I intend launching them very, very shortly, Mr Berry, and I will make sure you get a copy.

MR BERRY: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Will the Minister issue these guidelines to small non-government schools in the ACT in order that they might consider their future in view of the ACT taxpayer funding of those schools?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Berry, I think that is a rather silly question. It may well be that the various bodies which look after non-government schools - be they individual schools created by individuals or be they larger bodies like the Catholic Education Office - may find some use in those guidelines. For example, the Catholic Education Office periodically reviews how its school system operates. It has on occasions in the past, when it has had concerns about school numbers and has faced not dissimilar pressures to that of the government system, made changes.

I am aware that over the years there have been a number of Catholic schools which have ceased to operate, and there are occasionally some new schools which they open as well. It may well be that the work which has been done over the last four to five months by a number of people in the government sector would have applicability to the Catholic Education Office. I would be quite happy to send them and the Independent Schools Association a copy of the guidelines if that would assist them in the running of their system. No doubt it probably would have some applicability to them.

Standards of Behaviour

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, I was interested in a question from Mr Hird to Mrs Carnell regarding misleading the community and the obligations and responsibilities of members of this place. Yesterday in this place we had a full debate and a vote taken.

Mr Moore: Whom is the question to, Mr Speaker?

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