Page 1714 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2006

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Gold Creek School—bushwalking incident
(Question No 1046)

Mr Seselja asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 30 March 2006:

(1) In relation to the incident involving students from Gold Creek School who became lost on a bushwalking excursion on 9 March and the Department of Education and Training review of its outdoor education policy, were procedures properly followed in relation to the 9 March incident;

(2) Were the teachers and students adequately equipped for the excursion they undertook;

(3) Should an EPIRB not have been activated;

(4) What actions could have been taken to avoid the use of helicopters to uplift the teachers and students;

(5) What were the costs associated with rescuing the teachers and students;

(6) Has a review of procedures been undertaken as a result of that incident; if so, what were the findings and/or recommendations of that review;

(7) What recommendations have been made as a result of the ongoing review of the departmental outdoor adventure policy.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Appropriate documentation in relation to this excursion was submitted and approval granted. All Department of Education and Training procedures were followed correctly.

(2) The teachers and students were appropriately equipped for the planned day’s excursion.

(3) The group followed correct procedures governing the use of the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) they were carrying for life threatening situations. As this was not such a situation the group did not use the beacon.

(4) The decision to use a helicopter to uplift the students was made by members of the State Emergency Services.

(5) The total additional funding outlay by the school was $146.55. Rescue costs are a matter for NSW State Emergency Services.

(6) A review of procedures is being undertaken and is ongoing.

(7) See (6).

(Question No 1055)

Mr Smyth asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 2 May 2006:

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