Page 3144 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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The minister says the principal has accepted the blame, but do we really expect the principal to say anything else? The principal, presumably, wants to remain employed. He or she would want to be a continuing employee of the ETD. Had he or she not accepted the blame, I wonder what their employment status would be today. The principal’s admission or acceptance of guilt does not of itself prove no-one else is to blame, and it does not exempt the failing of those in the directorate who thus far have been excluded from any commentary and any identification, unlike the principal.

The questions just keep coming. Every time Ms Burch touches on this topic other questions crop up. Why have the statements of the people who apparently the education directorate will now be examining not been properly examined in the inquiry until this point? To further demonstrate how badly this has been dragged out, the minister has come in today with more versions and more layering of information. I do not think the minister addressed any points of my motion; I do not think she can even pretend that she has.

As for Mr Rattenbury—who seems to have disappeared—how many times have we been witness to Mr Rattenbury’s hand wringing and prevarication and feigned outrage over various instances of areas where he does not quite agree with the government or the government’s shortcomings, but then in every instance he still says, “Well, I understand your issues, Mr Doszpot.” Mr Rattenbury will have to understand why my patience is wearing very thin with him. I have heard this so many times where he is so close to agreeing with me—so close—but then he just cannot bring himself to it. Mr Rattenbury, all I can say is: when are you going to show some courage, some independence, some backbone and actually stick to what you promised this Assembly years ago—that you would become the third-party insurance?

Mr Rattenbury, you are part of this government and I think this has sunk to a new low where the Greens-Labor agreement now takes precedence over anything that happens in this Assembly, including a possible human rights abuse. It goes to the heart of Mr Rattenbury’s conviction and his lack of ability to finally make a stance on one issue over the last 3½, four years that we are nearing. He has never, ever crossed the line in agreeing with any of the issues, and we have bought up some very serious issues, including this one. But he still sticks to the party line instead of looking to what this community needs him to take on board.

According to Ms Burch, we are asked to believe that it was the principal that not only decided to build the cage but arranged the invoice, the payment, arranged access to the school for the builder, took the photo of the cage when the child was inside and posted the picture on the classroom wall, all the time never once raising the issue with anyone in the directorate, not with anyone—not the specialist staff that reasonably would have visited the school at some time during this period when all this was happening. A very interesting and extraordinary set of circumstances!

The amendment Ms Burch has put before us does not address any of the issues of my motion. Mr Rattenbury said he has had the opportunity to at length examine both our motion and Ms Burch’s amendment. I received Ms Burch’s amendment about half an hour ago while I was listening to her talk, and it is a little difficult to try and assess her

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