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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1737

Senator PETER BAUME —My question, which is directed to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, follows the question she has just answered. I ask: Is it not a fact that the Wran Labor Government in New South Wales sought to sell the Dover Heights High School to private interests? Is it not a fact that this Labor Government is the only government in Australia to have tried to sell a public school to private interests?

Senator RYAN —Although the administration of the New South Wales public education system is not within my portfolio, I do not think I can let the moment pass without explaining what happened with regard to the Dover Heights High School. As everybody knows, it was the case that the decline in the numbers of students at that school was such that the New South Wales authorities decided that the school would be closed down and that those students would attend other schools in the area. I believe it was also the case that there were some negotiations-I think with one of the private Jewish schools in the area-about taking over the buildings. As it turned out there was a great deal of criticism of this proposal by teachers and parents in the public education sector and in fact the transfer never took place. As I recall, the school which was no longer needed as a public school in that part of Dover Heights now operates as a technical and further education college. I remind Senator Baume that TAFE colleges are public education institutions and, like our public schools, are publicly available and accessible.