Private school laws introduced 2 days before Closures announced

By 17 December 2006 34

Last Tuesday, according to the ABC website, the ACT Govt rejigged current laws required to create private schools within the ACT.

Tharwa parents had attempted to start a private version of the school, however, under these new laws it is almost impossible as Barr can veto the school application. Before it was the ACTDET who could veto but had a large criteria to address.

Please note that it was made known 3 days after the school closures and not before or when the school closures announcements were made.

It’s obvious the parents of Tharwa want their school open and are willing to pay to keep it open. So what’s wrong with the ACT Govt? Or are they worried the 25 or so students who attend will make a negative impact on the enrolments for Gordon or Charles Conder Primary?

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34 Responses to
Private school laws introduced 2 days before Closures announced
cranky 3:38 pm
17 Dec 06

Can Barr explain how this benefits the ACT? Prima facia it is an act of pure bastardry.

Big Al 3:48 pm
17 Dec 06

I haven’t had a lot of time for the Save Our Schools lobby but I have to admit – this latest twist is a bit rich and seems entirely designed to stop the community from proving the Standope government wrong on the issue of small school sustainability – after all its pretty hard for Carr to sell the Governments toss-fest about dwindling numbers and unsustainability when a bunch of mums and dads out in Tharwa make a viable go of independent education.

Thumper 3:53 pm
17 Dec 06

Does this Tharwa vendetta have anything to do with Val Jeffery’s criticism of Stanhope after the 2003 fires?

Absolutely disgraceful. This government has gone beyond arrogance and appear to do anythign they want with impunity. The public no longer seems to matter to them one iota.


Big Al 4:25 pm
17 Dec 06

Thumper, it’s interetsing that you raise the vendetta issue. I’ve heard that from a number of sources. It wouldn’t surprise me. For all the grandstanding and shit, Standope has basically given up on worrying about what the electorate thinks.

swissbignose 5:21 pm
17 Dec 06

Am I missing something?

Just because someone has the right to veto, doesn’t mean that they will veto.

cranky 6:12 pm
17 Dec 06

When politicians (mis)use their power to change laws, enabling them to veto a proposal which could pose a political embarassment, we don’t really have to question whether the veto will be used. Unbelievable arrogance!

nyssa76 6:24 pm
17 Dec 06

If this law wasn’t in effect, I’m sure that other smaller schools would have also tried.

It’s a bloody joke and Barr & Co should be bloody ashamed of themselves.

KaneO 6:47 pm
17 Dec 06

It’s a shame we have no guns, and no grassy knolls.
Even our book repository has been sold. ;->

That’s a joke. I don’t support political change thru acts of violence, regardless of whether its Al-Q or Bush doing it.

shauno 7:36 pm
17 Dec 06

Unless its a guy like Hitler then of course from our pint of view it would be ok to assinate him. However if you were a German at the time of Hitlers rain then of course you would get the same reaction from people in the 3rd reich as you would wanting to assisinate stanhope.

This is all just hypothetical stuff read Jeffrey Robinson so you can see that your statement ” I don’t support political change thru acts of violence, regardless of whether its Al-Q or Bush doing it.” I generally agree but history has shown that its some times necessary.

johnboy 8:37 pm
17 Dec 06

As long as we get to vote in 2008 we can’t complain.

That we would have got to vote in 2007 if Brendan Smyth wasn’t a gutless fool is something we all need to bear in mind.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:39 pm
17 Dec 06

Oh noes. You mean a member of the legislature and the executive – somebody who, unlike public servants, is directly accountable to the public through the election process – now has a veto power over matters that lie completely within his portfolio responsibilities, instead of passing the buck to his department? It was much better when there were complicated criteria to be considered by nameless, faceless civil servants who answered to nobody.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:43 pm
17 Dec 06

And there’s a big difference between deposing the head of a sovereign state upon which you have declared war and using violence as a means of overthrowing your domestic democratically-elected government.

miz 9:54 pm
17 Dec 06

Yet they get indignant when the Feds veto local legislation! Hypocrites.
I agree with Thumper that the timing of this is indicative of a vendetta.

nyssa76 9:54 pm
17 Dec 06

Woody, it was underhanded.

Face it.

Why rejig the law at all? Barr knew people would try to keep the schools open as a private version.

It’s called cutting people off at the knees.

It’s obvious that this Govt doesn’t give a shit about the parents and students, not to mention teachers, of the ACT.

miz 9:57 pm
17 Dec 06

Their shamelessness knows no bounds.

smokey4 10:55 pm
17 Dec 06

Every other state makes a special case for rural schools but then Canberra is not a state. Just a bunch of self interested b#######ds. Tharwa or Hall the disreguard for the rural population proves Canberra is only for Public servants and politicians.

roccon 7:11 am
18 Dec 06

Another good reason for Tharwa to go back to NSW. where is the new bridge ??

sch00n3r4 9:24 am
18 Dec 06

another example of the buggers we didn’t want (5 referenda between 1969 and 1988 overwhelmingly said no) bob hawke gave it to us anyway cause he didn’t want rosemary follett in federal politics.

they (stanhopeless’s govt say they want more rural villages (urriarra, pearces creek etc but the are stripping the assets out of the existing ones, Urriarra had to fight hard before the 2003 fires to keep their primary school)

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:05 am
18 Dec 06

Woody, it was underhanded.

Was it?

Face it.

Well, I was unsure before, but when you argue so convincingly…

It’s obvious that this Govt doesn’t give a shit about the parents and students, not to mention teachers, of the ACT.

Didn’t I see something on the TV last night about tens of millions of dollars for new and improved facilities in ACT schools? Don’t you think it’s a little disingenous to make a blanket statement about the government’s education policies based on a single example of a yet-to-be-exercised veto power over a two-bit school that might not even get off the ground in the first place, while ignoring the rest of its policies and spending?

Why rejig the law at all? Barr knew people would try to keep the schools open as a private version.

Barr hasn’t exercised his new power yet, but I hope he has enough brains to know that Tharwa wasn’t financially viable when it had ACT government support, and so there’s even less reason to assume it’ll be viable when it’s being run by a glorified canteen committee. If he doesn’t save them from themselves now, he’ll just have to bail them out or make a bunch of hasty transfers later. There’s no reason to assume his department would have made the same decision if the law hadn’t been changed.

Come to think of it, this whole thing is pretty academic – maybe when the Tharwa folk have their $200K and a viable ten-year plan they can whinge about the government stopping them. Until then, it’s a pipedream, and the only thing stopping them is that it’s a bad idea in the first place. Maybe the government can lob them a few grand for counselling so they can get over their denial.

Thumper 10:17 am
18 Dec 06

“Didn’t I see something on the TV last night about tens of millions of dollars for new and improved facilities in ACT schools?”

Pure spin Woody, pure spin.

seepi 11:59 am
18 Dec 06

You have to admit the timing seems very suss.

And if the bridge isn’t done yet, then how far do they have to drive to get their kids to the nearest school?

I think the govt has messed up on this one. There is a lot of community support for the Tharwa and Hall schools.

nyssa76 3:17 pm
18 Dec 06

Woody, I’m not just talking about the school closures but rather the impact across the entire ACT Govt school system – something I know a lot about.

I’ve already stated in previous threads about said impact – think of throwing a stone into a pond and all the ripples.

Country schools are important. seepi has already asked about the travelling time for Tharwa kids. It’s a joke.

Plus ACTION’s new timetable doesn’t come out until January nor does the new PEAs (Primary Enrolment Areas) which do affect all students who’s schools have closed.

There is a hell of a lot more to this than just the closures and the changing of law (without public notification until after it was approved).

And having worked in the area which registers Non-Govt schools, it was doing fine as it was. There was no need to change the law to reflect the school closures, which is all it did.

No one will gain from this underhandedness.

Now we wait to see how much the land will sell for – if they haven’t sold it already.

johnboy 3:29 pm
18 Dec 06

To be fair Nyssa the legislation would have had to have been tabled before it was passed.

That no-one could be bothered actually scrutinising the legislation is a big, big miss by the Opposition.

nyssa76 3:37 pm
18 Dec 06

True JB, but the LA website doesn’t give you much so if I’d have known earlier I would have let a few people know.

I just think it’s back door handling at it’s worst but the law didn’t need changing as there had never been a complaint about the criteria as a whole before.

Pandy 10:08 pm
18 Dec 06

I dont see a mention of this new rule in the Canberra Times?

miz 10:38 pm
18 Dec 06

I’ll believe the new Tuggers school when I see it. 2011??! Huh. They’ll be voted out by then, and I bet it’s not even factored into the finances. It’s a Piecrust Promise, to soften the blow and make the Kambah community less antagonistic for closing the heart of their community down.

nyssa76 10:53 pm
18 Dec 06

Pandy, you can find it on the LA site – see the daily notices for the assembly or go to the Save Tharwa School site via SOS.

It’s there. It wasn’t well advertised before the passing and it still isn’t easily accessed (if you don’t know what you are doing).

gurunik 12:32 am
19 Dec 06

i’ll just say (as a fence sitter on this thread), woody, you are the gun. i disagree with you on principle, but you back your shit up (as much as happens on the ‘net’). i tend to agree more with thumpers view that this is sly political bullshit. sometimes the dollars dont equate to the outcome, and it works both ways. sentimental values are worth something, esp. to voting parents, so the rub will come next election.

KaneO 9:34 pm
19 Dec 06

The disclaimer was due to the fact that some people have been charged with ‘inciting violence’ offences after making a similar style of comment in online forums. Sad but true. When the bodies pile up, the finger pointing begins.

OneVoice 10:39 pm
19 Dec 06

Hands up! OK, I’m a public ed supporter. This thread is built on JB’s (and others) failure to check the facts. The change to the Education Act went so far as to define a new’campus’ of a non-gov school, as a new school. Nothing more; no new powers for the Ed Minister, no change when it comes to the Govt’s authority over the establishment of ‘new’ non-gov schools. Those rules include: the educational credentials of the applicant, it’s financial viability, whether it has premises, what impact a new school would have on existing (public and non-gov)and whether it can enrol any students.

The CEO (operating schools over 20 plus campuses), along with any existing school would have been able to avoid any controls on expansion unless this ‘loophole’ (if there was any loophole – my reading of the Act doesn’t reveal any ambiguity) was fixed.

Elsewhere on education policy this Govt is seriously #@%^ed, but not on this.

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