Page 4816 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 1 November 2017

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Mr Wall: Madam Speaker, I ask if you could call on the minister to be directly relevant. The question was: when can the ACT expect to see Indigenous students’ attendance meeting targets? A community conversation is not going to achieve that and I would like her to be directly relevant.

MADAM SPEAKER: Minister, in the time left can you be more concise to that issue.

MS BERRY: The whole purpose of the conversation with the community around the future of education is to ensure that students, regardless of their background, get the same opportunities. That includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. So to say that the community should not have a say in how every child in the ACT should get the best possible educational outcomes shows that there is clearly no expectation from those opposite to listen to the community and consider the experts in those schools—the students, the teachers, the parents and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community organisations. (Time expired.)

Mrs Kikkert: This is from someone who shut down a petition from the public. Wow, hypocrisy.

Ms Berry: Madam Speaker, point of order. I just heard Mrs Kikkert call out “hypocrisy” across the chamber. That is unparliamentary. She should be asked to withdraw.

Mr Hanson: Is it?

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, do you have a response on the point of order?

Mr Hanson: Yes I do. Calling Ms Berry a hypocrite would be unparliamentary. But calling the actions or an issue hypocrisy, I would not consider to be unparliamentary.

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order. We can go through a list and we can find a whole series of words that have been ruled out of order. But as I, and those before me, have said in this place many a time, it is around context and activity. If I called out every bit of poor language and offensive language from across the chamber, we would not progress very far in a day. I remind members to have regard and respect for each and every one of us in this place.

MR MILLIGAN: Minister, when can the Indigenous community expect to see their children achieving at the same levels as their peers?

MS BERRY: When the ACT government delivers a strategy for the next 10 years on the future of education, following the detailed and very serious conversations that we have been having with the community, in particular the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, and drawing on expert advice from people like Chris Sarra, ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children—all children, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances—get the best possible learning outcomes in our schools.

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