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Friday, 10 November 2000
Page: 19689

Senator CARR (11:15 AM) —So that there is no misunderstanding, the issue here is not that the Labor Party do not support 100 per cent of the teachers being qualified. Frankly, I cannot see any argument why there ought not to be 100 per cent of the teachers in Australian schools suitably qualified. Parents and students have a right to that. Frankly, all the evidence points to the need for that to occur on a whole range of measures—in outcomes and in the performance of those teachers in the school community. It is absolutely critical. The problem with Democrat amendment (5) is that we do not think it is something we can introduce from opposition. You have suggested 95 per cent. Clearly, in some schools at the moment there are significant numbers of teachers who are unqualified. You would need to negotiate that through with employing authorities. There is not a teachers' organisation in the country that does not support registration, but there ought to be a proper process in which such a measure could be introduced to allow transitional arrangements, and there will need to be discussions about a whole range of industrial relations matters. Frankly, that is not something which we believe can be done in this piecemeal way. We strongly support the principle, but we do not think it can be done in this particular manner, Senator Allison. We support the sentiments of your amendment, but not the implementation of it in this context.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Lightfoot)—I will split the amendments. The question is that Democrats amendments (4) and (8) be agreed to.

Senator Carr —Mr Temporary Chairman, I seek leave of the Senate for these propositions to be put separately: not (4) and (8) together, but (4), (5) and (8) separately.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —I will put the amendments separately. The question therefore is that Democrat amendment (4) be agreed to.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —The question now is that Democrat amendment (5) be agreed to.

Question put.