Page 751 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 1 April 2008
would have than I did. Mrs Burke, I have spent hours and hours and hours, as you would expect me to, meeting with individual schools. This is during 2006, Mrs Burke, in case you were off on another planet at that time.
Mrs Burke: Did you go to Lyons?
MR BARR: Yes, I went to Lyons. I met with the school board chair and a number of parents. I spent a number of hours at the school. In fact, I think that in my time as education minister I have visited more schools than anyone in the Liberal Party in their entire time in this Assembly. I would go so far as to wager that in two years I have spent more time visiting schools and meeting with school communities than those opposite. I do note that during all the hurly-burly of 2006 a couple opposite even had the good grace to acknowledge that throughout that entire process I would continually front up, time after time, to meet with school communities and explain the government’s rationale behind our school renewal program, stay to the end of the public meetings, still be there at 10.30 or 11 o’clock at night, hours after meetings had finished, answering individual parents’ questions.
There were more than 1,700 pieces of correspondence and hundreds and hundreds of meetings.
Mr Pratt: Da, da, da, da.
MR BARR: I have continued through 2007 and this year a program of regular school visits. Well, Mr Pratt, your colleague asked the question. You may not be interested in the answer, but that probably shows your regard for your colleague and why the question. I take it very seriously, Mrs Burke; I do. I will continue to be available to meet with school communities as part of the government’s commitment to ensuring the highest possible quality in our public education system and to ensure that this period of transition and record investment in public education is managed properly. I will continue to do that.
It is interesting to note the interest of those opposite. The interest of those opposite is only ever to tear down the good work that is occurring in our public education system. They have never got anything positive to say. They are yet, through their new leader, to offer up one education policy. The only thing that Mr Seselja has done in his time as education spokesperson is to try and copy a policy of the government that we introduced more than a year ago.
MR SPEAKER: Come back to the subject matter of the question.
Mr Seselja: You finally involved the police to the table.
MR BARR: Police were involved right from the very beginning, Mr Seselja, and you should well know that. In relation to Lyons, I want to make it very clear that the government will be consulting with the Lyons community, and we called a meeting for this Thursday night to talk through the detail. The calling of that meeting is what prompted this media interest and the sudden interest of those opposite and the opposition leader and the Liberal Party in public education. They had gone quiet for a