Question: School Amalgamations


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:13 :27 ): My question is to the Minister for Education and Child Development. Will the government give a commitment to parents at Pasadena High School that, if they vote to keep their school open, the government will ensure it stays open?

The Hon. S.E. CLOSE ( Port AdelaideMinister for Education and Child Development, Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:13:40): Yes, I will. The idea of amalgamations in the process we are going through is that it is a voluntary process. If either Unley or Pasadena votes no in the current process, then we will accept that. Obviously, there may be circumstances in the future, such as zero enrolment, which would jeopardise that, but I am absolutely clear that this amalgamation process is a voluntary one. If parents at Pasadena or parents at Unley are not willing to go forward with it, then the power sits with them. They get to make that decision.

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:14 :14 ): A supplementary: will the minister discuss options to revitalise the school in the event that the school parents at Pasadena—

The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:

Mr GARDNER: —do choose not to close?

The SPEAKER: Yes, the Treasurer is right: it's out of order as a hypothetical question.

Mr GARDNER: Sir, a different supplementary then: why does the minister say that Unley High School parents will choose whether or not to accept the merger when the opposition has been informed, and in fact parents have been informed, that Unley High School parents will not be voting on the merger?

The Hon. S.E. CLOSE ( Port AdelaideMinister for Education and Child Development, Minister for Higher Education and Skills) (15:14:52): I will have to confirm the advice being provided to me and clarify that matter.