Page 915 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 2 April 2008

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need to have with the education department, who will be managing the project works onsite, so that their concerns are addressed and that Mrs Dunne and I steer clear of it.

That would be my approach to this. Let the school community and the education department have the conversations they need to have without it being a political football and without there being a daily commentary in the Canberra Times. That is what this meeting was called for in the first place, but the opposition felt that there was a point scoring opportunity to be had. They have been called on it by the school community. I think it is very clear from the correspondence both of the school board chair and of the P&C council president that they want to be able to have their meeting with the education department unhindered by political interference. They make it very clear that they remain committed to achieving the best possible outcome for their kids and to working with the education department to achieve that result. They appreciate the fact that consultation has been extensive in the past 12 to 18 months, and continues, and that the recommendations of both the Lyons P&C and school board and the Yarralumla P&C and school board have been accepted by the government.

What we would now like to see is the growth of the Italian bilingual program at Yarralumla primary. I hope that Mrs Dunne will be able to welcome that because, in fact, the Italian program will now be available for many, many more students than were participating at Lyons, and Yarralumla will get a language other than English that it has not had in recent years. So it is a win-win here. If Mrs Dunne does support the program—and I believe she does—she should perhaps let bygones be bygones and support this program in its new venue at Yarralumla and support and assist the Lyons community through the transition phase, rather than going down the avenue she has.

Schools—Lyons primary

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.30): I was not going to speak on Lyons, but I will now very briefly. I acted entirely as a parent. I have always made that perfectly clear. The community came to me with their concerns. A very large number of people came to me with their concerns. I had heard the rumours. Other people had heard the rumours. I took that matter to the shadow minister, who dealt with it.

I have always made it perfectly clear that I speak as a parent. I will take every means available to me as a parent to ensure that the minister for education does not mess around with the education of my son or his colleagues, that he does not get moved after he was promised that he would stay in the one place and that he does not get shoved in an assembly hall with 84 other children for the rest of the year. That is what I have done. I have acted as a parent. I have never purported to speak on behalf of anyone at the Lyons primary school, except my family. The only comments that have been made on behalf of the Liberal Party have been made by the shadow minister.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 6.31 pm.

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