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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 379 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

the government will acknowledge that the demands on the various schools differ according to the buildings that they are working in.

This matter should just move on in a cooperative way. I am glad that Mr Stefaniak will be meeting with various people. I think that the government also needs to communicate with all the schools on how they are handling the hot weather, because I know and every other member of this place knows that, just because every school has not contacted the government and complained, it does not mean that there are no problems. Some schools and some parent groups are more assertive than others. It is always the case in any community issue that you will have some people who will say that they are not happy and others who will just put up with it.

There needs to be a clear commitment from the government today that it will review how well schools are managing the climate in the buildings that they have to work with and obtain an energy efficiency rating for all those schools so that we can have some proportional funding, if that is what the government feels that it could have, within school-based management. (Extension of time granted.) This motion is about a really important issue and I hope that the government will take a positive approach to it.

MR HARGREAVES (12.27): I want to address a couple of things that the minister said and one of the things that Mrs Burke said, with which I take exception. She attacked the parents who had taken their children to the Department of Education and Community Services offices to confront the minister. Only parents who felt that they had no other option would do that. Anyone who has kids would not normally want to put their kids through that sort of trauma.

The other thing, of course, is that the minister had the opportunity to listen and talk to those kids, who made comments about nosebleeds and fainting. Where were the comments about that? Mr Speaker, I find Mrs Burke's comments appalling. I know a couple of the families involved and have spoken to them. I have been involved in the issue since about last August. I chose not to go to the building on two grounds. Firstly, I used to work with a lot of the people around whom this issue revolves and I did not want to cause any undue embarrassment to those people. Secondly, I had spoken enough with the parents to know the depth of their anger.

Mr Speaker, the minister said that the issue at Gordon was only raised two years ago, so there cannot be that much of a problem-or that was my interpretation. That is absolute rot, Mr Speaker. We do not have to wait until parents come to come us kicking and screaming to fix a problem. If it was raised two years ago, why was it not fixed two years ago? The minister also said that all schools say that they are happy with school-based management. That is not so. I suggest he have a confidential chat in a telephone box with those people who are happy with school-based management. He also said that the solution would cost $2 million and he got up here and spoke about a Rolls Royce model. His statements in the media that it would cost $2 million were just scaremongering and did not work.

I was involved in the introduction of the school-based management program. It was this Liberal government that introduced it in 1996. I was there and part of it. In fact, the first job that I was given when I got the flick from Health to Education, thanks very much to the Liberal government, was the task of helping to introduce school-based management.

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