Page 734 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

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they do not have ultimate responsibility for the decision that is made in relation to the people involved based on a very spot observation. It is too easily open later on, for instance, for the victim to have to go to court to declare that they were the victim and not the perpetrator. I would prefer that these matters be left to the court to interpret. It is difficult enough there, but I think it is less difficult and fairer than if Mr Stefaniak’s amendment was adopted.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Schools—Lyons primary

MR SESELJA: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, when was the decision taken to renovate Lyons primary school from the middle of this year, with all of the resultant disruption this will cause?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. I am very pleased to be able to advise the Assembly that there is a major renewal project occurring in public education across the ACT. As part of that major education renewal and a $350 million investment in public education—an investment that the Liberal opposition has described as throwing good money after bad—we will be establishing four new early childhood schools in the ACT.

One of those schools that will have a changed focus is Lyons primary school. As part of the consultation process with the school community, senior representatives from the Department of Education and Training will be attending a meeting of the Lyons school board on Thursday evening to discuss matters around the transition of the Italian bilingual immersion program from Lyons to Yarralumla primary. In fact, the process of change and moving the program from Lyons to Yarralumla does, of course, involve consultation with school communities. That is the process that the government, through the department of education, is undertaking.

Some rumours have been going around the Lyons primary school community. The principal of the school wrote to parents and carers on 28 March. I am happy to quote from that letter:

Dear Parents and Carers

It has been brought to my attention that there are some rumours circulating regarding an imminent move of the Italian program to other venues and that there may be several moves.

I would like to reassure you that this is not the case. As I have said in the past I will let you know as soon as possible the details around our eventual move to Yarralumla.

Moving any program is complex and meetings are being held around the timeline and process for this to happen.

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