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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 990 ..

Education Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Berry, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

MR BERRY (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill seeks to amend the Education Act 1937. The aim of the amendment is to strengthen the ability of school principals to protect students in our schools, in both public and private sectors. It allows school principals or their delegates to request a person to leave school premises on a school day within one hour.

When I first proposed this amendment, the minister cited powers available to government schools under the Crimes (Offences against the Government) Act 1989. This bill will apply to all schools, not just government schools, and it is located neatly within the Education Act. This upgrading of protection for students in all of our schools will allow the principals, or their delegates, to order anyone who does not have a reasonable excuse for being on school premises to leave. If they fail to do so, they will be subject to police action and penalties.

When I proposed this in November last year, we were faced with a report of a violent brawl at a southern high school, an incident that highlighted the need for the protection being emphasised in this amendment. It is merely a commonsense approach and one of our corporate responsibilities as legislators, that is, ensuring that our citizens are protected and, in particular, that our children are protected while at school. I urge members to support this bill.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Postponement of notice

Ms Tucker, pursuant to standing order 128, fixed after the presentation of papers today, Wednesday, 29 March 2001, for moving the motion relating to the proposed censure of the Minister for Urban Services.

Workers Compensation Premium

Debate resumed from 27 February 2001, on motion by Mr Osborne:

That the government set a maximum rate of 15 per cent as the workers' compensation premium payable by the group training companies.

MR BERRY (10.48): This matter emerges because of difficulties being experienced by training companies in the ACT in responding to their workers compensation payments, and the impact that this could have on future training possibilities in the ACT.

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