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Democrats criticise restrictions on school visits.



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Senator Lyn Allison Senator for Victoria Australian Democrats spokesperson for Schools

Press Release Dated: 8 Jun 2000

Press Release Number: 00/334

Portfolio: Schools 

Democrats criticise restrictions on school visits The State Government's demand that principals advise the Education Department of school visits by politicians was a throwback to Kennett-style censorship, the Australian Democrats said today.

"This decision will deter school principals from speaking out on legitimate issues," said the Democrats' Schools Spokesperson, Senator Lyn Allison.

"There's not much difference between asking principals to advise of MPs' visits and demanding that they seek approval first," Senator Allison said.

“Opposition Education spokesman, Phil Honeywood, is hypocritical in criticising the Bracks Government over the issue.

"Mr Honeywood has no credibility whatsoever. Under his predecessor, the Ministry regularly intimidated principals into refusing MPs' visits.

“On occasions, I visited Victorian schools in which principals were shadowed by Department hacks to ensure that they said nothing critical.

“These were farcical stonewalling occasions in which principals were effectively gagged because of fear of retaliation,” said Senator Allison.

“Fortunately most principals took no notice of the draconian requirement to seek permission to meet with their representative in the Parliament and I hope they continue to do so.”

Senator Allison said that she had been heartened by the openness displayed by Ms Delahunty and her staff in contrast

to the former Minister, Mr Gude.

"However, I hope that Ms Delahunty reconsiders this decision, as it will most certainly censor some principals and impede democratic processes," Senator Allison concluded.

 

Top | Email Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats

http://www.democrats.org.au/media/display.htm Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 12:03:52