Page 903 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 2 April 2008

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happen to the Yerrabi pathways program? What will happen to the very successful breakfast program at the school that I have attended? I can confirm the wonderful job that the school was doing for the community, having witnessed the large numbers of children turning up for a breakfast they probably would not have otherwise had. This again is testament to the excellent leadership and direction in terms of pastoral care shown by the principal, Trish Keller, and her dedicated team.

In summary, I want to mention a snippet of a letter written by a grandmother of a child who attended Narrabundah primary and which was also quoted by Katy Gallagher as education minister in this place on 6 May 2005:

Thank you for taking the time to read this, but I could not just accept all Narrabundah School’s help and support without this acknowledgment. Under the leadership of Mrs Trish Keller and her dedicated staff this school must be one the Education Department are very proud of.

So proud were they that they decided to disband and really do away with the concept of what that school stood for, which was to look after low socioeconomic families in the area, with particular focus on Indigenous and Aboriginal education. We see again a shining light—in this instance a high-quality, professional school, leading the community—decimated by the Stanhope government.

The Stanhope government roll out programs and come into this place and say what a great job these schools and organisations are doing, how fantastic they are for the community and for the building of community spirit, how fantastic the staff are—and then, in the blink of an eye, what do they do? They decimate such schools as Narrabundah, thereby removing years of hard work.

This disgraceful and duplicitous action by the Stanhope government should be seen for what it is—failure. The schools, parents, teachers and the community all see the Stanhope government’s Towards 2020 vision as a failure. It fails the students, it fails the parents and it fails the community—and, unfortunately, Narrabundah primary school is a prime example of that.

This government stands condemned for its unconscionable act and will be judged for this, come October 2008.

Question put:

That Mr Barr’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 9

Noes 8

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Seselja

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Gentleman

Mr Pratt

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