Page 4310 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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Detail stage

Clause 1.

Motion (by Mrs Dunne) put:

That debate be adjourned.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 6

Noes 11

Mr Coe

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Smyth

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Education Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 17 September 2009, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (11.17): The Education Amendment Bill 2009 tabled by the minister is in many ways simply a token attempt and falls far short of addressing the real problem with antisocial behaviour in ACT schools. The idea of extending and strengthening the powers that a school principal has in dealing with seriously misbehaving students, both in the public sector and within the Catholic systemic schools, is a start. However, it is the opposition’s opinion that this amendment will still leave the ACT far behind other states and territories and that the principals in ACT public schools will still have delegated authority to suspend students for the shortest time period out of all of the jurisdictions around Australia, and indeed with still limited attention given to actually looking at and addressing the issues that have forced the suspension in the first place.

It is time to examine urgently the apparent continued escalation of the behaviour issues as well as the inadequacies and the shortfall of current behaviour management practices. It is time to seriously address not just the symptoms but the root causes of the problem. Of course, before you can address the problem you have to actually admit that there is a problem, and that seems to be the major stumbling block with this minister.

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