Page 574 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008
the first weekend of February I have conducted 12 mobile offices in my electorate, totalling in excess of 22 hours. I letterboxed the whole suburb of Flynn to tell people exactly when and where I would be. I was in Charnwood for two hours and provided eight other opportunities in suburban shops nearby—that is in the particular suburbs that Mrs Dunne mentioned. I have been letterboxing the particular suburbs in which I was conducting my mobile offices as well as adjoining suburbs, and I need to say that my experience is quite contrary to Mrs Dunne’s.
Although I have had some representations from people about their children going to different schools, overall the issues have not been of a negative nature. Although, of course, a small number have been negative, even these have been represented to me by those parents in a constructive manner. Mainly, and overwhelmingly, I have had positive feedback. In fact, at least one Flynn parent specifically rang my office to let me know how happy she is with her children going to Charnwood-Dunlop primary school and how she would not return her children to Flynn if it reopened. I have had other positive feedback of this nature and reports of quite a large number of children who have gone to Macquarie primary school and how well they are settling in. To say the feeling out there is still the same as it was at the height of the consultation period and immediately after the decisions were made by this government cannot be sustained by my experience. I, too, spend a lot of time in the suburbs of my electorate, and I, too, can compare approaches made to me over that time.
I know this has been a very difficult time for parents and children, and it was a difficult challenge for this government. However, I am proud to be a member of this government with its wonderful commitment to excellence in public education. I am proud to be part of a government that is facing the ongoing challenges of the 21st century.
Question resolved in the affirmative.