Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2005) . . Page.. 3112 ..
the act. However, as we have seen, it is possible to put a somewhat Jesuitical spin on those words to enable the period of consultation to take place after the decision has been made.
Consultation after the fact, if not exactly a contradiction in terms, is not consultation in good faith. We are asking people not about the decision itself but about the consequences or the fallout of that decision. It is like telling someone, “You can help me choose the means by which I carry out these acts.” That is hardly the sort of offer with which you could do anything other than refuse. This amendment seeks to restore a sense of good faith—to make it clear that the ordinary meaning of the section’s wording, which the general community had supposed to be the intended sense, is in fact the case.
The amendment therefore specifies that consultation should take place before any decision to close or amalgamate a school is taken—not before the school is closed or amalgamated but before any decision is taken. In the interests of reassuring those who have a stake in ACT government schools, as well as in the interests of plain, honest language, I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Gallagher) adjourned to the next sitting.
Ginninderra district high school
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.36): I move:
That this Assembly:
(a) the Stanhope Government’s:
(i) decision to close the Ginninderra District High School; and
(ii) failure to properly consult the school and the wider community in the spirit of the Education Act before the decision was made to close the Ginninderra District High School;
(b) the adverse impact that the closure of the Ginninderra District High School will have on the:
(iii) present student body; and
(iv) other schools in the area and the wider community;
(c) that the present student body is being forced out of Ginninderra District High School now;
(d) that only now the Stanhope Government is consulting with the business community on the closure of the Ginninderra District High School; and
(e) the impact the closure of the Ginninderra District High School will have on surrounding schools; and