Page 3786 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 September 2018
the Assembly that this was down 27½ per cent in the past year, which means that more Canberrans are spending more of their money here in the ACT. The ACT traditionally has had negative net expenditure interstate, but as the services and amenities that we offer here get better and better, we hope that this gap will continue to close and perhaps even move into positive territory.
MR WALL: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, when exactly were staff and teachers at Harrison School informed about the potential for asbestos to be on the property? Was this done at a meeting where questions could be asked of officials or was it done via email or another form of indirect communication?
MS BERRY: I might have to take some advice to see whether there is some more detail that I can provide to the Assembly on exactly what Mr Wall is asking there. But there was no reason for Harrison School to have presumed that there would be any asbestos at that school. It is a newer school. So the presumption was that there was no asbestos at the school.
However, once the question was asked by a parent, immediate steps were taken to have the matter investigated. It was investigated and action is now being taken to remediate the site and ensure that the community at Harrison is kept safe. I also note again the comments of Mr Greg Jones, the Work Safety Commissioner, that the response was a perfect response. So I am not sure where the Canberra Liberals are going with this—
Mr Wall: Point of order, Madam Speaker.
MADAM SPEAKER: Can you resume your seat, minister. Mr Wall on a point of order.
Mr Wall: I ask the minister to be relevant. The question asked specifically exactly when teachers at Harrison School were informed about the presence of asbestos and whether it was done in a face-to-face meeting or via a form of indirect communication. The minister has not yet answered when teachers and staff were notified and in what form they were notified.
MADAM SPEAKER: At the beginning of her answer she indicated that she was going to get advice and come back with the detail.
Mr Wall: She said that she was not quite sure. I just thought I would help clarify.
MADAM SPEAKER: She said she was getting advice, Mr Wall. I do not need any chitchat back from you. She has time to answer the question. Minister, do you want to continue?
MS BERRY: Thank you, Madam Speaker. On Monday, as I said, there was no presumption that there was asbestos at this school. So testing needed to be done to confirm whether or not there was asbestos at this school. That testing occurred. The