HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Wednesday 4 April 2001
Ms BREUER (Giles):
For 3½ years I have waited for
conditions to improve in my time in parliament, but nothing has happened.
It is racism. Children and staff in the schools in the Pitjantjatjara
lands and the Far West, such as Oak Valley and Yalata, are existing in
third world conditions. The buildings and surroundings are disgraceful;
they are old, dilapidated classrooms; they are unsafe and unhygienic; and
they have unsightly school grounds and facilities. Maintenance is minimal
and fraught with problems. Rip-off contractors go into those lands; they
charge exorbitant prices; they produce shoddy and inappropriate work and
decimate school budgets in the process. Bureaucracy seems unable to
respond quickly or effectively to the issues involved and places the
problems in the too hard basket.
Pipalyatjara School was told in 1996
that it would be rebuilt. That was five years ago. There is still nothing
in the budget so on Education Department timelines it is another two years
before it will be considered. Fregon has been on the list for years.
Nothing has happened. Amata has shoddy buildings; the shabby play area is
appalling; and it has maintenance problems. A door repair at Amata cost $3
000. How can a school budget cope with this? Some of the issues which
arise include tardiness in the process required, such as a review of the
facilities. It is planned but it has not happened at Pipalyatjara. Amata
is on the list to be replaced. An architect has been engaged, but nothing
has happened. Bureaucracy cannot seem to handle more than one project at a
There are problems with Partnerships
21. For example, when the money was allocated to Pipalyatjara School, the
fact that there were two campuses some 100 kilometres apart was not
considered-and that matter has only recently been resolved. It is
bureaucracy at its most inefficient. I have said it before in this place
and I will say again: would anyone in this place allow their children to
attend schools under these conditions? Would Minister Buckby and Minister
Kotz allow schools such as this to exist in Adelaide? Of course not.
Meanwhile, teachers, principals and superintendents all tear their hair
out in those lands. They work hard; they fret over the conditions; and
they battle under dreadful conditions. I admire and respect them greatly.
But this government allows these
conditions to continue. This government does not care about the conditions
for these young people already disadvantaged by their isolation. It is
absolute racism and absolute discrimination. Minister Buckby and Minister
Kotz: show some initiative and some guts; get your Premier and cabinet to
do something about this. Today, the Minister for Police, Correctional
Services and Emergency Services said, `An easy job seems hard if you put
it off long enough.' Well, seven years in office and this government has
still done nothing about it.
There are other examples of what has
happened in some of these areas. For example, funding to repair the leaks
in the roof of the main teaching block had been approved but when the
workmen went to do it they found that they had not been told the
complexity of the job and that they had not brought appropriate materials.
I presume they will come back at some stage, but who knows? There is no
indication of when this will happen. An administration block was broken
into and it took six months for some repairs to be made-and they still
have not been completed.