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 What is the rationale for the closure of Karguru - a move opposed by COGSO and rejected by parents from both the Tennant Creek Primary School and Karguru? Where are the savings? I invite the minister to elaborate on any savings that he will make in terms of removing this school. The removal of the TAFE component to new buildings, with all the costs involved for adaptation, will have to be borne by the taxpayer. Too, there will be a need to make significant improvements in school crossing areas because the Karguru kids will now have to cross a major highway. There will be a need to upgrade the Tennant Creek Primary School, particularly the area that TAFE now occupies. Already, that area has been adapted, at considerable cost, to make it suitable for adult education and now it will have to be changed back to a primary school format. This area of the campus has a double storey building which has poor stairwells and unsafe verandahs, and it is unsafe for primary students. In his costing, did the minister use the excuse of air-conditioning upgrading as a means of justifying the closure? I think we have the answer in the letter that he wrote to students at the school: Another issue at Tennant Creek is that the large cost of installing refrigerated air-conditioning at Karguru Primary School was also taken into account. It is worth noting that, in proceeding to close Karguru Primary as part of changes at Tennant Creek, more than $2.3m will be saved in salaries, operational costs, and repairs and maintenance over the next 5 years. The aspect of air-conditioning interests parents and teachers at the Karguru Primary School. The minister had never undertaken to replace the air-conditioning or even to upgrade the air-conditioning. How he can justify this as a saving when he had never given any undertaking to replace or upgrade is a question asked by people in the community. There are cheaper options. The parents and teachers at Karguru Primary School have put those before the minister but they do not appear to be receiving any consideration. I will return now to the TAFE college. Magically, we read in the latest edition of the 'Tennant and District Times' that Karguru is to be earmarked for redevelopment as Tennant Creek's first dedicated TAFE campus under a proposal being put to the federal government by the Minister for Education, Mr Shane Stone. Honourable members will notice that the proposal has not actually been put. It is 'being put'. However, the decision has been taken already that it is to happen. This valuable institution services the Barkly and, by its own initiative and innovation, has expanded its operation over the last few years. It has rooms at the old area school. It has acquired the Fadelli facility. It runs adult education courses. It runs Aboriginal women's craft programs and many courses for Aboriginal people. It is obviously a necessary adjunct to education in the Barkly and yet this facility was threatened not with relocation, in the first place, but with closure. People working and using this facility were threatened with its closure. No wonder they are being forced into considering the option of moving to Karguru which is a dedicated primary school, an open-classroom facility and totally unsuitable for adult education purposes unless it is redesigned considerably and unless the air-conditioning is changed. Who is to pick up the tab? I guess the Minister for Education hopes that the federal government will do it. Ultimately, Mr Deputy Speaker, you and I and every other taxpayer in the Territory will have to pay for this 801