Page 5001 - Week 13 - Thursday, 12 November 2009

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would be sidetracked with a stupid debate of the sort we endured in August. Well, I am sorry to say that Mr Doszpot has written a letter that I disagree with, and Mr Doszpot’s letter does not just contain a disagreeable statement about his opinion; it contains a false statement about the facts.

And, Mr Speaker, would you believe it, the letter is to the Non-Government Schools Education Council. Mr Doszpot, what are we going to do with you? On 21 October Mr Doszpot wrote to the Non-government Schools Education Council about the Education Amendment Bill 2009. The letter said, inter alia, that the Liberal proposal was “to increase the amount of time a principal can suspend a student from the current maximum of 5 days to 20 days”.

So far so good, but wait for it, Mr Speaker; there is just a little more. He went on to say that this would have brought the ACT into line with most other jurisdictions. I am afraid that is wrong, Mr Speaker, and that is wrong, Mr Doszpot.

These are the facts. Tasmania has a maximum of 10 days, South Australia a 10-day maximum at one time and Western Australia a maximum of 10 days for a serious breach of school discipline. The list goes on: Queensland, Victoria, New Zealand. They all have suspension periods broadly in line with what the ACT government was proposing.

I cannot speak for Mr Doszpot. He will have to explain why he misled the Non-Government Schools Education Council in writing. And he will have to explain why he has repeated the misleading statements to the media. He will have to explain why he has repeated them to the Assembly itself on two separate occasions this week. He will have to say he was ignorant, or dishonest, or negligent or all of the above.

Mr Speaker, if Mr Doszpot wants to make a fool of himself in writing that is his business, but I can speak for myself. I will state the facts and I will state my opinion, but despite the ridiculous precedent that was set in this Assembly in August there will be no censure motion, there will be no deadlines, there will be no letters from the Speaker and there will be no hours of wasted debate. Seriously, Mr Speaker, if we did that every time Mr Doszpot stuffed up, we would be here until Christmas.

Great Song Company

Free-Rein Theatre Company

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.36): I want to reflect on some of the events that I have experienced in my capacity as the shadow minister for the arts that reflect the broad range of cultural diversity in this city. One of those was essentially an imported concert, but it was the setting that made it a particularly appealing concert. The Great Song Company that comes from Sydney presented a concert last Thursday night in the Albert Hall which was called The Spanish Muse. It consisted of music of Thomas Louis de Victoria and the Canticas of Our Lady by Alfonso the 10th, the King of Spain.

This was a superb concert which had these two quite diverse settings of music interleaved with bright, joyful music celebrating mainly popular songs but also

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