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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2015) . . Page.. 1420 ..

This letter was written in October last year. The serious concerns of many parents were put forward to the government on numerous occasions. Again, we are seeing a blatant disregard for the community, as these views were not even remotely taken into consideration before this trial began. It must also be noted again here today that the views of teachers and their union were not listened to—yet another example of an arrogant government and an arrogant minister.

One of the main reasons parents of children with a disability choose to send their children to specialist schools is so they have specialist care. This care provides the safety net that parents of these children need.

Another example that must be again raised here today is one that was reported in the Canberra Times last month. The article states:

A mother of a 14-year-old boy at the school said that just two weeks ago her son had had a seizure which required his teacher to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. “One of the main reasons I sent him to that school was because of his severe epilepsy and the fact that nurses would be available if he needed them. It made me feel at ease knowing the nurses were there,” she said.

This issue is not one that can be ignored. The facts remain. The government has trialled the HAAS scheme. It has met significant objection from families and teachers. I think it is fair to say that this trial has now failed.

The focus should now be on ensuring that a solution is found. Resources should be directed into reinstating permanent nurses in all ACT specialist schools so that our students with complex medical needs are not put at risk but enjoy a fundamental human right of being able to access education.

Again, I commend Mr Doszpot for his continued and tireless work in this area. I commend him for his motion today and for his careful, diligent and consistent consideration on this issue.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.57): I would like to start by commending Mr Doszpot for bringing this motion before the Assembly. To quote from Mr Rattenbury—he was off to a good start; I thought I was going to agree with most of what he said—Mr Doszpot has a passionate, long-term interest in this area. Unfortunately it went downhill from there, but at least we could agree at the outset with that. I would also like to thank Mr Wall for his comments. As is the case with many areas of policy, you will see interaction between people—between someone working in education, Mr Doszpot; in disabilities, Mr Wall; and in nursing, me. It is just the reality of the administration of government.

Mr Doszpot’s motion seeks clarity and assurance. There has been confusion in this area for some time now. For about five years, Mr Doszpot has been working very closely with the parents of children at the schools and, I understand, with the union to express what they need, what they want. Mr Wall just read an example from a parent and why they need this surety that the care will be provided.

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