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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 27 February 1990 in the community account. He has not signed the cheque for hi s half. Ta 1 k to him about that. Mr Hatton: What are you talking about? Mr EDE: Some 18 months ago, $50 000 was offered by the federal government to build additional classroom space at Nyirripi school. Much later, this government said: lIt is not enough money to do what we want to do. We will provide you with a temporary building from Mallapunyah ' . That building still has not arrived. If you go to the teacher I shouse - one of those silver bull ets - you will find 5 children sitting on the bed and another couple in the corner. There will be another couple of children sitting at the kitchen table and a couple more on the floor. That is the way the upper primary school works at Nyirripi. It is absolutely hopeless. There is no way in the world that we can pretend that we are providing education at Nyirripi. We are not. The schoolroom itself is so absolutely overcrowded that it is impossible to have 2 teachers teaching in this one open room. It is an impossible situation. I do not know what impact that will have on the longer-term education of those children, but I am certain that it will not be good. That is the school where also there were no teachers at all for 6 weeks of last year because the department did not bother to respond to a call for relief teachers when those teachers at Nyirripi were sick. It is al so the school that did not start on time this year because, once again, there were no teachers. At Woola Downs, the lack of school facilities would be entirely i rre 1 evant because the chi 1 dren there cannot get to schoo 1 . There are now over 20 children at Woola Downs and the department has not provided them with a bus. It must be 6 months now since I raised this with the honourable minister. He told me that he and the Minister for Transport and Works would look at all the bus services and work out how they would solve this problem. Unless he can provide a bus, I will have to argue for the building of a school there because of the number of children in that area. However, that would mean that the facility at Ti Tree would be under-utilised. At the other end of the scale, in that same area, the department does provide a bus for the school to Anningie. However, so far this year, it has broken down twice causing disruption to school classes for children. The po 1 ice had to go out to see if everythi ng was okay. I have written before about the poor standard of that bus service and the incredibly bad way it is run. It is about time we looked seriously at whether those people will run the contract properly or whether it should be taken off them and given to a local group. These problems are not limited to rural schools. For years, Casuarina Secondary College has had more students attend than the department's demographers ever anticipated. This year, there will be an additional 200 students, and the department has steadfastly refused to supply teachers on the basis of actual enrolments and attendance. I am pleased to report to the House that, fi na lly, agreement has been reached on the supply of a further 6 teachers, especially in specialist areas such as maths and business studies. However, I ask the mini ster why it has taken so long. Why is it that, every year, we have the same problems in the same department? When the next year comes round, it always appears that the promised solutions have never come to fruition. 8870