Page 965 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013

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Schools—Duffy Primary School

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, in a recent Canberra Chronicle article you were promoting the use of modular relocatable buildings for the Duffy Primary School expansion, constructed in Melbourne at a cost of $2.8 million and deliverable in 2014. The project manager was at pains to suggest that, although they were modular and relocatable, these buildings were not demountable. Minister, were any Canberra firms offered the tender to build these relocatable buildings? If so, why was a Melbourne supplier chosen?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Smyth for his question. I am glad he is interested in Duffy school. I went out there during the holiday period and met with the principal on site at Duffy school and walked through the premises to see where these modular units will be. The decision about those units was very much a decision of the school. The Education and Training Directorate worked very closely with the school, the school community, the school board, and the P&C committee there as well. They are very satisfied with the result that they will have. They are very excited by what this additional resource will bring in to the school. So they are looking forward to the construction in the latter part of this year and to the end of this year—

Mr Hanson: A point of order.


Mr Hanson: Maybe the minister is getting to it, but could you call on her to be relevant. The question was whether this tender was offered to a Canberra supplier or not, and if it was, why wasn’t a Canberra supplier chosen. That is the nub of the question, rather than whether the P&C of the school or the school are happy with the particular form of buildings that have been provided.

MADAM SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. Standing order 118(a) does require the minister to be concise and directly relevant. I think that Mr Hanson has a point, that the views of the school community about whether they are happy with the building does not answer the question about whether a Canberra firm was offered the tender.

MS BURCH: I will be concise and say it was a public tender process, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, given the classrooms will not be available until 2014, what was the time advantage in buying modular portable buildings from Melbourne?

MS BURCH: I am sorry; can you repeat the latter part of the question?

Mr Smyth: What was the time advantage? Was there any advantage in purchasing these modular portable buildings from Melbourne?

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