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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 404 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

It quite clearly is simply a benefit people can get from enhanced school-based management, and the facts speak for themselves. I will not go over those figures-they are there in the public domain-but quite clearly they indicate that schools are operating school-based management very effectively. It gives them a lot more flexibility, it is a quite legitimate and proper way for education to go, and I think the results are very much there on the board in terms of the greater flexibility.

I think there is a bit of paranoia opposite about school-based management, and I do need to make those points about how effective it has been. I think the question is this-and I do feel an election coming on: say if Mr Wood or Mr Berry said, "Listen, we'll get rid of school-based management." I do not think the schools would like that. If they were asked the question, "Do you want to keep school-based management, or do you want to go back to total central control and reliance on the department only?"-

Mr Berry: You can't anticipate debate, Bill.

MR STEFANIAK: I think I know what their answer would be, and it would not be yes.

MS TUCKER: I am speaking to the second amendment. Are you happy with that, Mr Speaker, or should I seek leave to speak again?

MR SPEAKER: Yes. The first one was replaced.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: Thanks. It is interesting. I got a copy of a letter at lunch time, which I think is worth quoting. In fact, I might table it because it does support the points that have been raised here this morning. It is from Gordon Primary School Board, and I will read it out; I think it's important. It says:

Gordon Primary School Board has been deeply concerned to hear reports in the media that as the school is funded over $250 000 it should be providing airconditioning for our portable buildings from this money.

Our income of $275 745 has already been budgeted. Our expenses will be $274 824, leaving a balance of $921 from this money. As the minister would appreciate, it would only take a couple of attacks by vandals or similar for this amount to be eaten away.

As you would be aware, the money from the Education Department is to meet the school's ongoing costs and to administer educational programs. If the school's budget were to be used to purchase airconditioning it would be at the expense of some of the educational programs we offer. I am sure the Department would agree that that would be completely unsatisfactory.

The problem of cooling in portables is not a problem unique to Gordon Primary but is unique to a small number of schools.

Take note, Minister:

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