The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (11:24): I am pleased to have the opportunity today to speak on the bill. I know that the member for Reynell has raised this matter because it is an issue of concern to her and to many people in our community. As the Attorney-General previously outlined to the house, the government is concerned that in dealing with such a matter we are able to do so in a way that will ensure that it is effective, taking into account community concerns and community standards and also the fact that in Australia we do have vehicles able to traverse state lines, and we are obviously in a position where we would like to have a national outcome on this.
That this house introduces a country cabinet schedule for regional South Australians.
There is a catchphrase I hear thrown around a lot in this room, and that is #RegionsMatter. Well, you are right—they do. Mount Gambier and the Limestone Coast matter. The Riverland matters. The Murraylands matter. Eyre Peninsula matters, the Barossa matters, Clare Valley matters. Yorke Peninsula, Flinders Ranges, Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula matter.
Mr ELLIS (Narungga) (15:00): My question is to the Minister for Education. Can the minister update the house on preparations for the transition to NAPLAN Online?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:00): I am very pleased to be able to do so. I know that NAPLAN Online is a very important progress for our education system and, indeed, for jurisdictions across the country. It is an improvement to the system that last year saw 141 schools that undertook NAPLAN Online testing—100 government schools and 41 non-government schools—report feedback suggesting that students found the online assessment engaging and that the platform worked well for that number of schools.
Dr CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Education. Was the media discouraged from attending the official opening of Botanic High School by anyone in government?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:48): I'm aware of some requests from media outlets as to whether the opening was taking place today. The answer that was provided by my office was yes. They were asked if media were being invited and they were advised that the event was designed for students and the school community, as is not unusual around many of these occasions.
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (15:16): During the division on the suspension of standing orders on 12 February, the opposition requested that one of their members who had been granted a pair, to be absent from the chamber due to illness, have that pair recorded for that vote.
The government's view was then and remains now that the pairing conventions that have been operating in this house for decades and that have been applied as far as I am aware since I have been here—although the question has rarely arisen—do not apply to votes that require an absolute majority of 24 members any more than they do for quorums. It has been said:
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (11:28): I love the opportunity to talk about rate capping because it is a critical policy that the Liberal Party took to the election. The opposition's failure—
Dr CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:04): My question is to the Minister for Education. Why did the minister choose not to consult with any parents before excising suburbs from the Adelaide high schools’ zone?
The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:05): I thank the member for that question, and it is a reasonable question. The fact is that the new government came to government in March last year. At that time, the former government had made a determination, first announced in 2013, and I think a cabinet decision seems to have followed in 2017 that was gazetted in August last year for the 2019 zone for the Adelaide High and Adelaide Botanic High School shared zone.
Dr CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:09): My question is again to the Minister for Education. When did the minister first resolve to remove the western and south-western suburbs from the Adelaide high schools' zone?