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 ERC was the provision of an additional parent representative. The guidelines called for only 1 such representative but this task force had 2. It conducted a thorough program of consultation, given the need to keep the period of uncertainty for school communities to a minimum. Another significant point is that the task force time frame of consultation was actually reduced after discussions with the President of COGSO in which it was agreed that it would be a useful exercise if the recommendations of the task force were made known prior to the COGSO conference so that they could be the subject of full and frank discussion. I fully realise that there will be those who strongly oppose many of the government's decisions. Organised campaigns to reverse government decisions in the states have not been successful. If there is one thing on which all education ministers in Australia agree, whether they be ALP, Liberal or CLP, it is that they will stand firm on such matters. Continued opposition will achieve nothing more than a reduction in teacher morale and the alienation of the school system, with the real losers being the children as they become the pawns in the political brawling between the various groups with an interest in the. matter. At the end of the day, the Territory will retain one of the best staffed and resourced education systems in Australia. More than that, it will have an education system in which every division, unit and school serves the community in the most effective manner, whether one's terms of reference be education or economics. For the record, there seems to be some confusion on the part of the member for MacDonnell as to what the COGSO representative on the task force supported or did not support. I can make available to him a copy of the task force report. It is quite clear - and, in my meeting with the task force, I clarified this for myself - that it recommended closure of 4 of the 8 schools, taking issue only in relation to Tiwi, Karguru, Rapid Creek and Traeger Park. The decision in respect of the other schools was unanimous. Hr BAILEY (Wanguri): Mr Deputy Speaker, I apologise to the Chair for my emotional outburst earlier this morning in relation to this issue. However, we members of the opposition found it very difficult to contain our emotions when we listened to the deceit, the dishonesty and the arrogance of the minister in relation to this subject. We heard him deliver his prepared speech ... Mr SETTER: A point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker! The member referred to the lies, deceit and dishonesty of the Minister for Education. Mr Bailey: I did not say lies. Mr SETTER: Well, deceit and dishonesty. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Mr BAILEY: Mr Speaker, we have sat in this House and listened to the deceit, the dishonesty and the arrogance of the Minister for Education. We have also heard it outside the House over the last 4 to 6 weeks. My initial interest in becoming involved directly in the issue of school closures resulted from the very first piece of deceit involved in this process. There was an interesting letter to the editor from a Mr Roy Turner, before school closures were even on the agenda, suggesting that we should close Millner and Tiwi Primary Schools. Interestingly enough, those were 2 schools that the department was suggesting should be closed at that time. That was before the report was made public. It was a 788

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