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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3089 ..

Mr Wall the very thing of which they were accusing him: an unsafe workplace encased in the worst tactics of union bullying. What remains, therefore, is the political motivation of the organisation that is currently delivering this program to our school students.

The minister had every opportunity during the estimates hearing to clarify her view on the appropriateness of this situation, but she did not. Instead, what ensued was a bullying campaign unleashed by the union in Mr Wall’s electorate in an attempt to discredit him. The unions sought to spread complete lies about the premise of the issue and Mr Wall’s stance on workplace safety. This is union bullying at its ugliest.

In conclusion, on behalf of Mr Wall and on behalf of the Canberra Liberals, I acknowledge the work of our teachers and support staff at every school in Canberra, government and non-government. Teachers’ ongoing dedication and professionalism are an inspiration, especially in light of the Labor-Greens government that has no plans for improving educational outcomes for young people.

I also acknowledge the first educators of our children: the parents and carers who start their journey. The continued participation in the day-to-day activities at the coalface is critical for the success of our future as a community.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (12.25): I am happy to have the chance to talk about all of the government’s election commitments last year that have been followed through in the budget that we are discussing today. In respect of education and the importance of education in our community, I start my comments in the same place as the comments from the opposition about the results of the moment-in-time NAPLAN tests. They are a piece of information that informs the story about what is happening in our schools. But they are not the only thing that is happening in our schools.

The conversation that I have commenced this year on the future of education goes much deeper than a moment-in-time test result to find out what is actually happening in our schools with our students, to find out what their needs are so that we can better meet them, and to find out from our teachers, our school staff and school principals what kinds of supports they need so that they can provide the best education opportunities for our children and the life that they lead after school.

Since I was appointed as education minister, a number of things have occurred in schools across the city in only 10 months. There was the announcement of an occupational violence plan and policy on which the ACT government and the directorate worked very closely with the Australian Education Union and their members to develop. It is nation leading. It is the first policy and plan to tackle occupational violence in our schools. The rest of the country has been very interested to see how the implementation of this policy and this plan will be rolled out across ACT schools, in close collaboration with the Australian Education Union.

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