Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 1 May 1991

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Parliamentary Record 3


Debates for 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 6th Assembly 1990 - 1994




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 1 May 1991 working very well. In this way, courses which might otherwise not have continued will be able to proceed. Students are to be encouraged to study within the Northern Territory. Several programs which dealt with the remoteness of the Territory at the time of self-government now have the opposite effect to that intended at the time and, in fact, reduce the opportunities available to Territory students. We intend to phase them out. Persons covered by any of these schemes at present will continue, but there will be no new entrants. Air fares aside, Territorians spend more than $6m a year being educated outside the Territory. This strategy will seek to return some of those students to the excellent facilities now available to them at home. I would have thought that that proposal would have been welcomed by members opposite. A not unrelated initiative is the establishment of a task force to look at the privatisation of Yirara College. The privatisation of Kormilda has been outstandingly successful. A task force is now being established to look at how, in the southern region of the Northern Territory, Yirara College could be redeveloped as an autonomous non-government institution. I have to stress that this initiative came from the college. If the task force reports that it is not a worthwhile proposition, the government will consider that at the time. Finally, I believe that there has been a great deal of misinformation, or certainly misunderstanding, in relation to the composition of, structure of and results achieved by the ministerial task force which investigated the utilisation of school facilities. The government did not operate in a vacuum in developing the strategies in education which are being introduced through the ERC. Through its Chairman, Richard Creswick, COGSO1s input in the process has been significant. The shape and substance of many of the changes in education were altered by the ministerial task force. For their hard work as members of the task force, it is appropriate that I extend the thanks of this government to Richard Creswick, and former president and life member of COGSO, Ian Pontifex. Theirs was not an easy task. The government sought to close 10 schools and relocate 5 preschools. Instead, based on the recommendations of the task force, 8 schools will close and 2 preschools will be relocated. To pick up an interjection made earlier this morning in relation to Millner and Rapid Creek Primary Schools, it was the recommendation of government that Millner Primary School should close. However, the task force recommended the closure of Rapid Creek Primary School. As I said at the time, it would have been quite improper for government to politicise the process and interfere in the recommendations of the task force. The task force has had a significant impact on the outcome of the ERC process in relation to education. That impact was demonstrated clearly in a newsletter issued after the ERC findings by the principal and school council chairperson of Wagaman Primary School, which was on the list of proposed closures put forward by the Department of Education, but overturned by the task force. The composition of the ministerial task force was based closely on the guidelines which have been in school handbooks since 1986. Let me stress that they are guidelines only and do not have the force of law. They are now some 5 or 6 years old and are open to reassessment and review. I believe that it is significant that the major difference between the task force proposed in the guidelines and the task force which reported to the 787

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