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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 September 2015) . . Page.. 3137 ..

simply the principal’s fault—surely that outcome would have been known in a matter of days or, at most, a week or two. Instead, 165 days later we get an implausible explanation with no evidence backing it up.

With that said, I call on members of this place to support Mr Doszpot’s motion. We owe it to the community, we owe it to the school community, to get to the bottom of this affair. As long as we do not have all the facts there will be unanswered questions. Whilst there are unanswered questions there will be a cloud hanging over this issue for all time. If that is the case, how can we be confident that we have learned the lessons we need to learn to make sure this never happens again?

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (5.39): The matter before us today is extremely serious, both for the specific structure that was built and that has caused such shock and outrage in the community and also for the apparent systemic failure that saw it being built and used for as long as it was. I, along with most Canberrans, have been absolutely aghast that this structure was ever considered a valid response to a child’s needs and that its existence did not raise serious concerns and a rapid response sooner. I completely understand the community’s ongoing interest in this matter and why it is before us in the Assembly today.

I would like to say from the start of this debate, however, that to date I have been assured by Minister Burch’s response to the issue. She has, as we all have, expressed her horror and disappointment about the structure and, as we have seen from the time line available, acted quickly and decisively once she became aware. An investigation was ordered in a timely fashion and a further broad-ranging review of policy and practice for supporting and teaching students with complex needs and challenging behaviour in all ACT public, independent and Catholic schools was announced in June.

Further, the minister is on the public record expressing her serious concerns with how it was that no-one in the school or the central office in the directorate raised alarms and investigated claims about the structure much sooner. It is essential that the conduct and decisions of each and every officer who was part of the directorate’s response is examined and the directorate deal with each of those officers accordingly.

But, as we know now, following through on these matters has proven problematic. The delays in the investigations and the impact that has on the directorate’s ability to action any recommendations are concerning. I can imagine it would be incredibly frustrating to be in the position of being unable to make public comment while awaiting these sorts of investigations to be finalised. I hope that this most recent example serves as something of a prompt to increase certainty and efficiency in these matters.

I will be supporting Minister Burch’s amendment to the motion before us, based on her willingness to provide the Assembly with more information, as she said in her speech today. I will turn to some of the specific matters shortly.

There are certainly details of this matter which have not been published. Mr Doszpot’s motion goes to some of these questions. However, as even he notes in

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