Page 4574 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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Environment—energy efficiency ratings

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and is in regard to energy efficiency ratings and, in particular, auditing. What has been the progress of the government’s paper released in 2009 and when will its results be released?

MR BARR: Mr Speaker, I understand this is the subject of a question on notice, on today’s notice paper, from Ms Le Couteur. I seek your guidance as to whether it is best, given that it does appear to be on the notice paper—

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, I understand that this question is on the notice paper, and I believe that, under the standing orders, if it is on the notice paper you cannot ask it in question time. Would you like to reframe your question?

MS LE COUTEUR: No, I will think about it further.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, I will come back to you later.


MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Would the minister advise the Assembly of the government’s policies in relation to helping school communities deal with the issues of bullying and safety?

MR BARR: Again, I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her longstanding interest in this area of public policy. The government is committed to our schools being safe and secure places for all students, for all teachers and for other staff who work in our school environments. We believe that everyone in our schools has the right to be safe and to enjoy a happy learning environment.

However, sadly, just as we experience in our society more generally, there are isolated incidents of bullying and of unacceptable behaviour that occur in our schools. Every day in the ACT nearly 60,000 students interact over nearly 130 campuses and, unfortunately, from time to time there are incidents that arise—just as, unfortunately, in the interaction of 350,000 people in our city in thousands of workplaces and public spaces, there are incidents that occur that are indeed regrettable and that the community, rightly, frowns upon.

It does not mean that we should accept this behaviour as the norm. I think it provides a challenge for our schools to lead by example, to teach children and young people about the standards of behaviour that we expect and how to deal with incidents in an appropriate fashion. Hopefully, with schools being part of the solution, we can influence our wider society for the better.

Can I say that the government takes these issues very seriously and has been implementing a series of policies which guide schools in promoting supportive learning environments in which all students can expect to feel safe. These policies deal with countering bullying, harassment, violence and discrimination in ACT public schools. These policies support schools to develop sound behaviour management

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