Page 885 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 20 March 2012

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DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. These are very confidential matters relating to children—children, Mr Speaker; that is who are involved here. I am sure that their parents do not want their personal details and their circumstances paraded in public. The member is quite correct: the appropriate people to deal with these matters are our trained and expert teachers, principals and school counsellors. And then, in the case of critical incidents which require the involvement of police—

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, thank you.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, what is the current ACT public schools weapons policy?

DR BOURKE: I welcome the member’s question. In fact, I welcome the interest of the Canberra Liberals in public education. You would not have known they had any interest in education with regard to the Gonski review because every question they asked was about private schools.

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I think you know and we all know that this is completely irrelevant to the question. I would ask you to ask him to be directly relevant.

MR SPEAKER: Minister, while you have some time to set some context I do not believe this is relevant to the question at all. Let us return to the question asked, thank you.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Our policy with regard to weapons is that weapons are not tolerated in schools.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, when was this policy last updated?

DR BOURKE: In 2010.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what were the changes in the 2010 policy with regard to weapons?

DR BOURKE: There was a change in the suspensions, exclusions and transfer policy regarding weapons in schools; a 2007 policy mentioned weapons, but the 2010 policy does not.

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