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 to attempt to politicise that meeting. To have a debate on educational grounds is fine. However, when he started attacking the CLP government and its so-called deals with the Sheratons and whatever, he politicised that meeting and I was not going to sit there and cop it. I told him so and I must say the whole shabby exercise was frowned on by the Wagaman school community because I spoke to a number of them later. Mr Speaker, I would like to quote from a letter written by the principal of Wagaman Primary School and circulated last week: Dear Parents and Caregivers, The most important issue concerning Wagaman school has now been resolved. The school will continue to function, with one alteration - the relocation of the preschool to the primary school. The preschool will not close. I personally believe that this is a relatively small price to pay for the retention of the stability of our school. I would urge you not to make any hasty decisions until the facts of relocation and the consultation process with the department, council and preschool association takes place. If you wish to discuss the matter further, I am available for discussion, either personally or by telephone, at your convenience. It is important at this stage to remember that the educational resources of Wagaman school have not been reduced and that the preschool relocation will be made in the best interests of all involved. And I would like to quote from a note which was circulated at the same time by the president of the school council: Dear Parents and Caregivers, As the chairperson of the school council, I wish to advise you of the implications of the ERC statement as applicable to Wagaman Primary School. Prior to the announcement, Mr Jackson and I made a submission to the department task force which in fact reversed the original intention of the department to close Wagaman Primary and Preschools. The consequence of the preschool relocation into the main primary school building is, I believe, an unsolicited compromise to the benefit of the school as a whole ... the revised staffing formula also announced will have little or no impact on your child's education. That is the position at the Wagaman Primary School in my electorate. Nobody, including myself, wants to see any school community relocated and, of course, destabilised as a result. By their nature, people resist change. The reality is that the government has no option and the decision has been made. From that letter, it can be seen that the Wagaman School community has accepted that. Of course, there 1s nothing new about school closures. I mentioned earlier that there have been savage funding cuts in all states around Australia. Schools have been closed already in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT. We heard the Attorney-General and the Minister for Health and Community Services refer to Tasmania. Overall staffing in the Department of Education there had been reduced by 1056. That was a reduction of something like 16%. We are suffering nothing like that. The pain that our education system will be required to bear is quite mild compared to what has been 817

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