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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3136 ..

(iv) reviewing current practices in ACT schools in regard to complex and challenging behaviour, with particular attention to responses such as exclusionary withdrawal; and

(v) reviewing research, evidence-based practices and current policies and practices in other jurisdictions, including proactive approaches that successfully promote attendance, participation and learning;

(i) the expert panel will report its findings in October; and

(j) the expert panel’s report will be provided to the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs; and

(2) calls on the Government to provide the Assembly with a copy of the Government’s response to the expert panel’s review as soon as practical after the conclusion of the expert panel review.”.

(Time expired.)

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.35): I rise to speak in favour of Mr Doszpot’s motion. It is a motion which is seeking to get to the bottom of what was a very dark day in the history of education in the ACT. I very much commend Mr Doszpot’s sincerity, his compassion and his interest in this issue. Mr Doszpot is trying to get to the bottom of something that our community is very worried about.

The best way for Ms Burch to have handled this situation would have been and would still be to be completely honest with all the information she has, all the information the directorate has and all the information which has supposedly been fed into a review. However, whilst Ms Burch refuses to back up her implausible assertions the questions are going to linger.

The facts are that we still do not know what the terms of reference were. We still do not know how the independent reviewer was chosen. We still do not know who the independent reviewer was. And we still do not know what process the reviewer went through in order to come to a situation whereby a document was published a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately, we are in a situation whereby it seems that the minister’s stubbornness is getting in the way of getting clarity on this issue. The best way for Ms Burch to resolve this issue would be to show the community, to show the Assembly, the evidence which has fed into this inquiry. As it stands, the information and the conclusions which she is supporting are simply not plausible. It is simply not plausible that the principal alone put together this case for a cage, put out the quote, arranged for the construction and arranged for guidelines to be produced. It is simply not plausible. The best way for Ms Burch to back up her claim that this is how it happened would be for her to actually produce the evidence. Instead, she keeps making these implausible claims and she does not actually back them up.

The sheer fact that it took five months for this investigation to be undertaken also raises significant questions. If the problem was as simple as Ms Burch has outlined—

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