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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3839 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

line with the offer we put on the table in April for schools, especially primary schools, considering amalgamating sites. I will say that again. They will keep any savings they make for two years. After that, any savings will be put towards the ongoing provision of quality education throughout the ACT government school system.

Mr Speaker, today is a very positive day for the children of Wanniassa Primary School and Wanniassa High School, their teachers and their parents. The decision to amalgamate into a single community school was very much a visionary one. It was taken after extensive consultation - very proper consultation - with not only the school community but also any other affected schools. It is a decision that will guarantee continuity of education for those children and a smooth transition from primary to high school at a very fragile developmental period in a child's life. I think that will be one of the big pluses that will come from such a decision. I would like to congratulate Wanniassa High School and Wanniassa Primary School. I think that they have made a commendable move. It is one that is wholeheartedly endorsed by the ACT Education Department, the ACT Government and, I would hope, the whole ACT Assembly.

MR HIRD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

Mr Berry: Cut it out.

MR HIRD: Just cool it, Mr Berry. I would like to have the opportunity to ask a supplementary question. Minister, was the decision taken by the parents in the knowledge that they would be giving a better opportunity to their children, without pressure from the Government and of their own choosing?

MR STEFANIAK: The answer to all of those questions is yes.

New Year's Eve Celebrations

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services and is in respect of the New Year's Eve celebrations down by Lake Burley Griffin. It is anticipated that up to 200,000 people will be participating in the day's events. I am aware that a special events forum is managing the event and reporting to the Minister. Having regard to the spectacular nature of the activities, the crowd size and the lateness of the hour, has any risk assessment, other than Y2K failure, been undertaken?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I am pleased that Mr Hargreaves is continuing to show his interest in this matter, given that members opposite have done nothing from the very beginning but grizzle about the whole event. If Mr Hargreaves had come to the meeting about the estimates on Friday, he would have heard Mr Berry ask a similar question. Mr Berry was given a run through. It is there in the record that there is a forum which is meeting and that it involves all the stakeholders to make sure that we discuss all the issues. They are reporting to me. They have reported to me previously and they will be reporting now every week until the event to make sure that we have covered all the risks that may occur. Events like this are not without some risk, but they have been safely

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