Page 739 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008

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It is important to acknowledge the contribution that the ACT Brumbies make to our local sporting community and to Canberra’s economic activity more generally. Given the fact that the facilities that the Brumbies have are below par when compared with those of other Super rugby teams, it is important that we are able to work with them to improve the facilities. Millions of dollars worth of first-class rugby players are training at that facility and it is appropriate that we are able to maintain the facility at the highest possible quality.

Having a fence around it will certainly aid in removing, for example, a fairly constant feature, I am told, at Brumbies training—that is, officials from the club having to sweep the field beforehand to remove dog faeces, golf balls and a range of other things that tend to accumulate on the site given its fairly free accessibility at this point.

I stress again that our desire is to find a workable solution whereby we can enclose the oval with a 1.2 metre high picket fence to discourage dog walking and other antisocial activities that leave behind little presents for the players.

Members interjecting—


MR BARR: I am sure that all members of the Assembly would agree—once the Liberals have stopped laughing. This transcript will be available to the Brumbies, so some of our allegedly big supporters of rugby union over there might stop guffawing for a moment. Given the nature of the team and the contribution they make, it is reasonable to expect that our premier rugby union team can train at a facility that does not regularly have dog droppings and a range of other things left on it as a result of unhindered public access.

Schools—Lyons primary

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and it relates to the disruptions at Lyons primary school and to the preparatory works through the school year that you alluded to in your first answer here today. It is reported in the Canberra Times today that Lyons primary students might be accommodated in the school hall during the renovations. Minister, what is the government’s position in relation to this possibility, and who suggested that such a course be considered?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Pratt for his question. From time to time across the ACT education system, classes are conducted in school halls. That will come as no surprise to anyone who has had any observation of the ACT public education system. But the thought of relocating an entire school to have an entire semester of all of their activities in the school hall is clearly not something that the government, nor the school, nor the department of education, would ever countenance. So I can state categorically that that will not occur. Let me make that clear, so you can rewrite all your questions now, guys: that will not occur.

As for the origins of such a suggestion, I am not sure where that may have eventuated, but I make it very clear that at no point has the government directed the education

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