Page 3111 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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Wednesday, 24 August 2005

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.


The following petition was lodged for presentation by Dr Foskey, from 124 residents:

Fair trade products

We, the undersigned, request that the Legislative Assembly of the Australian Capital Territory promote global social and environmental sustainability by:

using Fair trade certified products such as tea, coffee and chocolate at functions and elsewhere as appropriate

taking into account the global social sustainability provided by Fair trade certified products in Government sustainability and procurement policy

promoting the use of Fair trade certified products by consumers and businesses within the Australian Capital Territory

The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petition would be recorded in Hansard and a copy referred to the appropriate minister, the petition was received.

Education Amendment Bill 2005

Mrs Dunne, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.33): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The object of this bill is simple: to clarify or spell out the intended meaning of section 20 (5) of the Education Act 2004 with regard to the closure or amalgamation of government schools. Until recently the ordinary meaning of the words in that section seemed clear enough. The section reads:

Before closing or amalgamating a government school, the Minister must—

(b) ensure that school communities affected by the closure or amalgamation have been adequately consulted during a period of at least six months.

As I said, that is the ordinary meaning of the words. The meaning that is understood by parents, students and teachers of Ginninderra district high school is that if a minister contemplates the possibility of closing or amalgamating a school he or she should spend at least six months consulting the community before deciding whether or not to proceed. That is definitely what the parents of Ginninderra thought and that, clearly, is the spirit of

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