Page 3087 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. In response to an FOI request I lodged there is evidence of a quote on 24 February 2015 relating to the cage in a Canberra school. Why was this event excluded from the time line in your published report?

MS BURCH: The time line was from the date of construction. The quote—you are right, it is on the public record through FOI—was dated in February. It is not unusual to have a quote in one month with the work completed some time later. It is as simple as that.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, when did the school first plan for a cage to be built, given a quote was developed weeks before it was constructed?

MS BURCH: Let us be clear that the independent investigation found that the person responsible was one person responsible for the thinking, the planning, around this structure. That is the finding of the independent investigation. There was a quote in February. It was constructed, put in place in the school where it should not have been on 10 March.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: Stop the clock.

Mr Hanson: The question is very much about the time line, not who is responsible. The question is about when the school first decided, or when planning first occurred, for the structure to be built and not who was responsible. I would ask the minister to explain that time line.

MADAM SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 118(a), I would ask the minister to be concise and directly relevant to the subject matter, which was: when did the school first plan for the structure, which is what I wrote down.

MS BURCH: The principal made the decision to plan for the structure, and clearly it was some time before 10 March because that was when the structure was put in place and, by the timing of the quote, someone would assume that about the time of the quote she started that process. I do not understand—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sit down, Minister Burch. You are clearly not going to answer the question. Under standing orders I am going to sit you down.

Ms Burch: Madam Speaker, I think—

MADAM SPEAKER: Sorry, no, I have sat you down. A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

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