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 Hr MANZIE: Mr Deputy Speaker, I move that the motion be amended by omitting all words after 'that' and inserting in their stead: 'this Assembly commends the Minister for Education for (1) establishing a task force to consult with principals, school councils, parents and the community about the closure of 8 pre and primary schools; (2) alleviating the distress caused to students and parents by personal communication with parents and ensuring that action is in hand to provide all programs at receiving schools and allowing schools and parents until the end of 1991 to make the arrangements necessary for their children for 1992; (3) ensuring the quality of education for all Territory children; and (4) for making the highest proportion of reductions outside the school fence. I have spoken about all the items except item No 4, which relates to 'making the highest proportion of reductions outside the school fence'. The total staff of the Department of Education, comprising those in schools, colleges, educational support services and corporate administrative services, is 4187. In percentage terms, the changes relate to a 5% cut within the schools and colleges, an 11% cut in educational support services and a 15.9% cut in corporate administrative services. That puts to rest the false claim that everything is occurring in the schools and nothing is occurring in the administrative area. In fact, the greatest proportion of the cuts is occurring in that administrative area. No government is pleased about having to undertake such a process. However, there is no doubt that the Territory government has to undergo this process even though we have been able to do it to a far lesser extent than has been required in some states. It has been forced on us, and the minister has done the job in a most commendable way. It was not an easy job. I ask that members opposite support the changes if for one reason only, and that is to alleviate the distress that has resulted from this process of change. Mrs HICKEY (Barkly): Mr Deputy Speaker, I certainly cannot support the amendment moved by the Attorney-General. The Minister for Education stands condemned by Territorians and by this opposition in that, in the short 6 months that he has held this portfolio, he has set back education in the Territory by 2 decades. Later, I will refer to Territory-wide issues and will talk about how the master teachers program is being altered. I will be talking about devolution of responsibilities to schools and how that disadvantages small schools. I will be talking about the way in which this inefficient and dishonest CLP government has been leaning on Commonwealth funding in order to bail itself out of the problems in which it has found itself. However, let me refer first to the Tennant Creek situation. In the light of the amendment that the Attorney-General has moved, I am unsure whether I should refer to the Karguru closure or Karguru relocation. Let me set out a brief history of the Tennant Creek schools because it is very interesting. The CLP government has had carriage of education in the Territory for the years in which this interesting scenario has developed. The original building in Paterson Street was designed for Years 1 to 8 and a preschool was built on the same campus, adjoining the school. Eventually, 799

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