School Zoning (2)


The other point I make to all those families is that we take very seriously our responsibility to ensure that whichever school their child is at, that child will be supported to reach their potential, whether their potential is that they want to go on an academic pathway or on a pathway towards an apprenticeship or a traineeship, or if they have a sporting preference or a languages preference or whatever special entry program they might prefer, whether they want to attend their local zoned school or one of our other outstanding local public schools that has the capacity for that student.

When I say that, it's in the full knowledge that those opposite would have been confronted with a very difficult decision had they remained in power on 17 March last year. They would have been in a situation—

The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Lee!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —where the infrastructure provided by those opposite, together with the decisions that those opposite had made in terms of expanding the school zone, would have left us in a situation where—yes, this year Adelaide High is slightly over capacity—next year it would have been massively over capacity and the year after that more over capacity. The question has to be asked: would those opposite have been cancelling those special entry programs? Would those opposite have been cancelling the zone, or would those opposite have been preferring to rack, pack and stack students into classrooms—

The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order, member for West Torrens!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —into which they don't fit, into corridors, setting up tents on the Parklands? What other process do those opposite suggest would be appropriate? Yes, it's a challenging situation, and I appreciate it's particularly challenging for those families who had made plans for next year. That's why we are putting in place the case management support. Those opposite can help to alleviate some of the challenges in this situation by reassuring those families because they know that these are good schools that are now in the zone. They know that the other neighbouring schools have an outstanding—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —opportunity at any of the schools that they are able to go to, but it is not possible to fit 1,800 or 2,400, or even 1,600 students into a school—

Ms Stinson: Well, why did you promise you could?

The SPEAKER: The member for Badcoe is warned for a second and final time.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —that is not built for it. That is what those opposite would have had us do. We know that it is a challenging situation for those families, but it is not this government that made those promises in 2013. We had—

The Hon. R. Sanderson: Unsustainable, never possible.

The SPEAKER: The Minister for Child Protection is called to order.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —every expectation when we came to government that if such a situation were to be confronting us, those opposite, in the 16 years they had, in the five years since they have been planning the zone change, might have done a little bit of the work on the demographics, the challenges and the capacity pressures facing the system. It is quite clear that they did not because—

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition is called to order.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER: —the Leader of the Opposition says, 'That's why we built a new school.' They built a new school and expanded the zone to include a range of students who would have overcome the capacity of the new school. That is the advice that we have from the education department. If those opposite are saying that if they were in government they would have cancelled the special interest programs, or if indeed that's what they are encouraging us to now do, then let them say so—because that's the choice.