Territory Stories

Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 12 August 1998



Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 12 August 1998

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Parliamentary Record 8


Questions for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




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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QUESTIONS - Wednesday 12 August 1998 School Holidays and the Sydney Olympic Games M r TOYNE to MINISTER for EDUCATION and TRAINING Students in New South Wales, Victoria, the ACT and South Australia will be on school holidays during the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. Territory students will not. The minister said, in December last year, that he would make a decision on whether or not to change the dates of Territory school holidays: ...after a community consultation process, as to the best way to accommodate the wishes of the majority of Territorians. Why has he decided not to change school holiday dates, thereby denying Territorians the opportunity to enjoy the Olympic Games without withdrawing their kids from school. Is he able to table any evidence to demonstrate that the majority of Territorians support his mean-spirited and bad decision? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I guess for starters there is the contradiction from the member himself. Basically, he wants me to consult but, after consultation, he wants the decision to be that we will do it anyway. That is what he is saying. Members inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: That is what he is saying. The member for Stuart is saying that he wanted ... M rs Hickey inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: Madam Speaker, the member for Stuart is saying he wanted me to carry out a consultation process ... M r Ah Kit: You said you would. M r ADAMSON: Which we did. M r Bailey: And then you ignore ... M adam SPEAKER: Order! M r ADAMSON: The member for Stuart is saying that he wanted me to carry out a consultation process but that when that process was finished, I should make the decision originally sought regardless. That is what he said. The consultation process took place. It was extensive and widespread and involved not only the Department of Education and the school system, but also members of the public and school councils. We found that, while there was a body of opinion that supported some change, a larger body of opinion indicated that many people would prefer to maintain the status quo. It was on that basis that the decision was taken. Thus, the consultation process did take place. Subsequently, the decision was made not to change the Territory dates. M r Bailey inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: It was based on public opinion... M s Martin inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: Was the public opinion unanimous in any way? No, of course it was not. M r Bailey inteijecting. Madam SPEAKER: Order! M r Reed inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: From all indications, the majority were telling us they wanted no change. Members inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: The Assembly will be sitting at the time of the games. May I also comment that I received no representations from the member for Stuart. This should not be surprising because I receive... M r Toyne inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: ... virtually no representation at any tim e... M embers inteijecting. M r ADAMSON: ... from the member for Stuart. There was a consultation process. Those particularly involved in the school system will be aware that that process took place. In fact the process took place long before the public announcement about it was made in the House. It was assessed that the majority of the population preferred to keep the 4-week break, and that is the decision that has been made. For the member for Stuart to tell the House that we should have had a consultation process and that we should not have been mean-spirited and gone ahead with the decision anyway, smacks of the hypocrisy that sadly he has made his trademark over the last 12 months. 288

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