Proposed Board Of Studies Inquiry

About this Item
SpeakersAquilina Mr John; Chikarovski Mrs Kerry; Murray Mr John; O'Doherty Mr Stephen; Rixon Mr Barry


Mr J. J. AQUILINA (Riverstone) [11.31]: I seek leave to amend the notice of motion standing in my name. Certain matters have arisen since I gave notice of this motion last Tuesday that would make it worth while to amend the motion to include the terms of reference of the inquiry announced by the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, and the sacking of Mr Lambert.

Leave granted.

Mr J. J. AQUILINA: I move:
      (1) That this House calls on the Government to immediately establish a fully independent inquiry, to be conducted by persons other than members of the Board of Studies, into the operations of the Board of Studies and the circumstances surrounding the decision of the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs to sack Mr John Lambert as President of the board.
      (2) That the terms of reference of the Minister's existing inquiry be amended to include the circumstances surrounding the sacking and the relationship between the Board of Studies and the Department of School Education.

Page 523
      (3) That a report of the findings and recommendations of this inquiry be tabled in this place no later than 1 May 1994.

The House must pass this motion, to rebuild public confidence in one of the most important statutory bodies in New South Wales, the Board of Studies. The board is responsible for the welfare and livelihood of one million students in this State and for the higher school certificate, one of the most important credentials for public testing in this country. As honourable members hear repeatedly from the Government side of the House, the higher school certificate is a credential that is achieving worldwide acclaim.

It is important to establish public confidence in the Board of Studies and once again rebuild public confidence in the members of that board and its endeavours. Also this body sets subject curricula for more than one million students and has responsibility for the higher school certificate and other curriculum activities in the State. The education community has been horrified by the Minister's handling of this affair. There is no greater sign of this than the unity ticket between Dame Leonie Kramer and the Teachers Federation condemning the Minister's decision. I never thought that day would ever come. Public confidence in New South Wales education demands an inquiry that is, first, fully independent - not a half-hearted inquiry such as the Minister has announced - second, deals fully with the reasons for Mr Lambert's dismissal; and third, makes them a matter of public record, because public accountability is at stake. The inquiry must report back to the House in a timely fashion.

The need for an inquiry is obvious. I shall refer briefly to recent events that highlight the need for the inquiry. The Ombudsman's report into the Barnes affair shows serious deficiencies in the board's capacity to investigate allegations of that nature. In many ways the Barnes affair brought the whole matter to a head and put the focus on an issue that has been brimming over for almost three years - the tug of war between the Board of Studies and the Minister and between the Department of School Education and the Minister. The bungling of the handing over of higher school certificate results to the Universities Admission Board is another incident. Earlier this year many young people were disadvantaged because of that bungling.

I refer also to the bungling of the K-6 curriculum, both in regard to its release and charges for support documents. The most compelling reason for having an inquiry is the need for the public to be given a full explanation for Mr Lambert's sacking. It is not good enough simply for Virginia Chadwick to know. The public has a right to know; the people of New South Wales, school students and those in education circles have a right to know. The editorial in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald asks, "Why single out Mr Lambert?" We need to know all of the reasons. What are the "range of problems," the "variety of matters" and the "irretrievable differences" to which the Minister in the other place referred so cryptically.

The explanation given by the Minister on Tuesday was utterly pathetic. All she said was that she wanted to bring Mr Lambert's retirement forward. She should tell us why. When asked why he was sacked, Mr Lambert said, "I do not know any reason why". The Minister said, "I took advisings through the day", and again I refer to Hansard for the Legislative Council of 8 March. Obviously the Minister did not take any advising from anyone in the education community. She did not consult Professor Tony Gibbs from Macquarie University, Professor Dame Leonie Kramer, Associate Professor Terry Gagen of the maths syllabus committee, the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations, which she is wont to consult so frequently on many other matters - and appropriately so. She did not consult the New South Wales Teachers Federation or members of the Board of Studies, its staff or its syllabus committees. With so many in the education community opposing the decision, from whom did the Minister take advisings? With whom did she consult on this matter? The editorial in the Sydney Morning Herald today states:
      There are too many unanswered questions concerning the decision of the Education Minister . . . to sack the president of the Board of Studies . . . What are "the irretrievable differences"? . . . Why was the decision made now when there is an investigation taking place . . . Does the minister have a replacement for Mr Lambert? . . . why is Mr Grimshaw part of an inquiry into the activities of an organisation when he serves on that organisation? . . . why has Mrs Chadwick anticipated the findings of the inquiry into the board's activities? What happens if Mr Lambert receives an endorsement from the inquiry?

Will the Minister reinstate Mr Lambert? As the editorial says, "Mrs Chadwick has failed to deal adequately with this matter." The sacking of John Lambert is a shameful affair, both in the manner of its execution and for what it says about the Minister's failure to take responsibility for her portfolio. Last week she defended the board and its president. This week she sacked him over the car phone. She needed a scapegoat; she needed a sacrificial lamb; she needed to deflect criticism from herself. This inquiry must be completely independent. It cannot succeed in rebuilding public confidence in the board if it is tainted by the presence of a member of the board, namely, Mr Warren Grimshaw. I have no personal reservations about Warren Grimshaw, but he is being placed in an impossible position, being so close to the Minister, the chief executive officer of the ministry, and also being a member of the board. There is no way that any inquiry of which he is a member can provide public confidence in the outcome of the inquiry. There is no way for there to be a public perception that the inquiry is totally impartial. The appointment of Professor Michael Birt and Mr Eagleton is to be applauded, but again it is not enough to make the inquiry independent as long as Mr Grimshaw remains involved.

I turn now to the terms of reference of the inquiry. I agree with the existing terms of reference, but they do not go far enough. They have not been released publicly, and I am grateful that I have been able to obtain the terms of reference that I am sure
Page 524
Government members have. I inform the Minister that I am precisely aware of the terms of reference that she may announce later today. As a minimum the following terms should be added: the full circumstances surrounding the Minister's decision to remove the President of the Board of Studies; and the relationship between the Board of Studies and the Department of School Education. This inquiry should clearly explain the full range of problems the Minister has referred to, the mysterious claims of irretrievable differences, the ongoing friction between the Board of Studies and the Department of School Education, and the appropriate role of the Minister in controlling the board, short of sacking its president. The inquiry should also report by 1 May. This is a matter of extreme importance to the young people of New South Wales. The inquiry also should reveal how to bring about an end to the tug of war between the Department of School Education and the Board of Studies. [Time expired.]

Mrs CHIKAROVSKI (Lane Cove - Minister for Industrial Relations and Employment, and Minister for the Status of Women) [11.41]: The honourable member for Riverstone cannot be serious; he must be joking. He has today accused the Minister of somehow undermining confidence in the Board of Studies. The only person who has managed to undermine confidence in the Board of Studies is the honourable member for Riverstone, by his constant attacks on the Minister, the board and the education system generally. If anyone should stand up to the people of New South Wales and say, "I am the one who is causing the trouble", it is the honourable member for Riverstone, and he should bear that in mind.

The honourable member for Riverstone has asked that the Government establish a "fully independent inquiry into the operations of the board and into the termination of Mr Lambert's contract". How much more independence could the honourable member seek? Does he mean that the Government should establish an inquiry using people of the highest integrity, renowned for their independence, and ask them to consider the matter? Is this what a government established, fully independent inquiry means? Surprise, surprise, it is already happening! Members are well aware that the honourable member for Riverstone is once again wasting the time of the Parliament, and the Government is wasting time explaining to the honourable member that the inquiry he is seeking is already under way.

I suspect that the real reason behind the motion is that the honourable member is questioning the independence and integrity of the people involved in the inquiry. I shall inform the House who is conducting the inquiry. The inquiry was established on 28 February following the Ombudsman's report on the Christopher Barnes case and the board's decision to award the higher school certificate to him. The inquiry will be conducted by Mr Harry Eagleton, a former deputy director-general of the Premier's Department, and Mr Warren Grimshaw, Executive Director of the Ministry for Education and Youth Affairs. In addition, management consultants Cullen, Egan and Dell are providing assistance to further ensure the independence of the inquiry processes.

Mr Warren Grimshaw has written to the Minister informing her that for the term of the inquiry he will not be acting on the board, attending board meetings, or looking at board business in his ex officio capacity as a member of that board. He will not be involved in the board during the duration of the inquiry. In addition to ensuring the complete openness of this inquiry, the outcome in the first instance will be referred to Professor Michael Birt, formerly the Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. Professor Birt will subsequently submit final recommendations direct to the Minister. Is the honourable member for Riverstone seriously questioning the integrity of Harry Eagleton, Professor Michael Birt and independent consultants Cullen Egan and Dell? These people are held in high regard within the community. Is the honourable member suggesting that those people cannot conduct an independent inquiry? The only person who seems to be questioning that integrity is the honourable member for Riverstone.

Harry Eagleton recently retired after an outstanding 40 years' service in the public sector. During this time he served under conservative and Labor governments, including 10 years under the Wran Government. The honourable member for Riverstone could hardly question the independence or integrity of Mr Eagleton. Likewise, Professor Michael Birt held the position of Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales for 11 years and prior to that was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong for eight years. He is held in the highest regard in educational sectors and among the wider community. Surely the honourable member could not be attacking the integrity and independence of these people merely to score cheap political points. The firm Cullen Egan and Dell is one of the largest and most respected management consultant firms in Australia. Is the honourable member also doubting that firm's independence and integrity?

The motion seeks that the findings of the inquiry be tabled by 1 May, and I understand that is still in the amended motion. The inquiry already under way is due to report to the Minister by 30 April. The Minister has made it perfectly clear that she is happy for the report to be made public. She has already given that commitment and is happy to honour it. Therefore, the question of tabling the report is superfluous. In relation to the second aspect of the motion, the removal of Mr Lambert, much has been made about the announced termination of Mr John Lambert's contract as President of the New South Wales Board of Studies. The Minister has acted quite properly in accordance with part A, section 42O, of the Public Service Management Act. This Act states quite simply that the Governor may declare an executive officer who is removed from an executive position under subsection (1) to be an unattached officer in the public service, a teaching service, or another service of the Crown as the case requires.

Page 525

The honourable member for Riverstone has said that the Minister should make public the reasons. The Minister has stated quite clearly that irreconcilable differences between the president and herself have led to the termination of Mr Lambert's contract. This is quite within her powers and role as Minister and, most important, is for the benefit of schools, students and the education portfolio generally. Through this motion the Opposition is attempting to score shabby political points on an issue on which it has backflipped time and again over the past two weeks. Last week in relation to the Christopher Barnes affair the honourable member for Riverstone said:
      The Ombudsman's report shows that the board was systematically resistant to any independent review of its decision continually slowing the Ombudsman from coming to his final conclusions and questioning his jurisdiction to be conducting his inquiry.

The honourable member for Riverstone also last week quoted the Ombudsman's report as follows:
      This investigation has raised serious doubts about the board's capacity to properly carry out this investigation but, far more importantly, the board in its conduct and its submission during the investigation has shown itself to be so intent on preserving a predetermined advisorial position as to have forfeited any confidence in the board's ability to objectively assess and reach a fair judgment on evidence before relating to Barnes' case.

The honourable member for Riverstone also questioned the effectiveness and efficiency of the Board of Studies and its capacity to be able to administer its jurisdiction properly. Mr John Lambert was the president of that board and took full responsibility for its actions. The honourable member attacks the integrity of the Minister and says that she has not acted properly in dealing with this matter. How hypocritical can he be? All he has done is show instant support for Mr Lambert, and such support is nothing more than opportunistic and transparent. Frankly, the House has had enough, as have the education community and everyone in the State. We are fed up with the Opposition trying to score cheap political points on education when instead it should be commending the Government on its education policies. A fully independent inquiry is under way into the Board of Studies and will be finalised by 30 April. During the currency of its reporting Mr Warren Grimshaw will not participate in meetings of the Board of Studies or act in any way in his ex officio capacity on that board.

The inquiry will look at and determine all matters raised in the Ombudsman's report into the Christopher Barnes case, which has been considered and its recommendations dealt with. A further review is under way in relation to cheating procedures in higher school certificate examinations. How many times do the facts have to be restated? How much more time will be spent in pointless discussion of the same issues? The motion is a frivolous attempt to divert the business of the House and of the Government yet again. Members on this side of the House do not believe that the Minister for Education in the other place has acted in other than the most correct and proper way in the interests of the people and children of this State to ensure a quality education system - and that includes accountability in all its forms. Members on this side of the House will not support the motion. I reject entirely, as I did last week, any suggestion that the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Premier in the other place has acted in any way inappropriately. I reject the motion.

Mr J. H. MURRAY (Drummoyne) [11.51]: There are too many unanswered questions concerning the decision of the Minister for Education, Mrs Virginia Chadwick, to sack the President of the Board of Studies, Mr John Lambert. One has to ask what are the irretrievable differences between Mr Lambert and Mrs Chadwick. On looking for the answer from Mr Lambert it becomes apparent that he does not know why he was sacked. The decision to appoint Mr Warren Grimshaw, a member of the board, to undertake an investigation of the Board of Studies is similar to appointing Dracula to study the blood bank. This matter has been conducted in a most unprofessional and high-handed manner. More important, did the Minister have a replacement in mind when she made her call on her car phone at five o'clock that afternoon? If so, will the board continue its statutory arm's-length relationship with the Minister?

The dismissal of John Lambert is most unfair. It cuts across all basic tenets of justice and Australians' belief in a fair go. The Minister might not think Mr Lambert should be given a fair go, but the Opposition does. Other Ministers have adopted similar attitudes over recent years. That is one reason for senior executive service payouts of more than $25 million. This is a classic example of the high-handed attitude of Ministers to the public service. Although the Minister has announced an inquiry, she has decided to shoot Mr Lambert before the trial commences. This whole episode has blown the lid off the Minister's real intentions. She wants to be involved politically in the workings and functioning of the board. The board was not set up for that purpose. The Minister has the portfolio and is responsible for carriage of policy. The board has the job of implementing that policy.

Under these circumstances the Minister is saying she also wants to be the public servant. Under the Westminster system of government, that is unacceptable. The genesis of this dispute is in the Metherell Education Reform Act of 1990. At the time the Opposition predicted that if that legislation passed the board would be politicised. That happened last week; hence the heated debate in this House. The board's charter seems straightforward enough: to determine what should be taught in schools from kindergarten to year 12. A competent, highly regarded professional public servant, in proper Westminster tradition, decided to stand on his professionalism. He said: "It is my job as a public servant to implement that policy. I believe we have a competent board of 23 members to advise me on this. I am a part of that board. My job is to go out and follow through on its recommendations". The
Page 526
Minister said, "No, I know more about spelling, arithmetic and geography than you. More importantly, I want to tell you what kids have to be taught in school".

The implication is that if Ministers interfere to that extent in the workings of a board, future Ministers will continue to politicise the board and might decide that the word socialism cannot be used or that the coalition's name must appear in every document. In this State a tradition has been observed of never interfering politically in a curriculum. That tenet has been observed by all governments. The Minister has decided to turn that tradition upside down. She wants to interfere in the workings of the board. The head of the board has said, "That is not your job". Obviously, a conflict exists. Minister Chadwick could not cope with the professionalism of the public servants, so she took to the telephone. More than 200 of the 230 board staff - all professionals - signed a petition objecting to the Minister's high-handed actions. That is unheard of in this State. [Time expired.]

Mr O'DOHERTY (Ku-ring-gai) [11.56]: The motion is pure politics. The shadow minister has demonstrated time and again that he is lost in the past - and he loses again today. I have in front of me the terms of reference announced by the Minister on 2 March. Each of those terms of reference go exactly to what the honourable member wants today. If the motion is passed today, it will duplicate what is already in place, calling to question experienced and independent members of a committee which is already inquiring into the matters about which the honourable member has sought investigation. The motion gives those opposite an opportunity to trumpet around the State their claim that they set up an inquiry. An inquiry has already been set up. A number of inquiries and even independent checking procedures are in place. It is a political nonsense for the Opposition to call on the Government to do what it is already doing. I wish to read the terms of reference to reassure other honourable members that the Government is already acting on what the shadow minister says it should act on. The terms of reference are as follows:
      1. The scope and appropriateness of activities presently being undertaken by the staff of the board, having regard to the Education Reform Act 1990 and the responsibilities of other agencies within the portfolio.
      2. The nature of the relationship between the board and its support staff, and the effectiveness of management structures to achieve the goals of the board.
      3. Accountability mechanisms to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the staff in delivering high quality support to the board.
      4. Such other matters which may be relevant to the effectiveness of the administration, professional and operational support to the board.

The review will also take into account another inquiry being conducted into the recommendations of the Crown Solicitor in proceedings relating to malpractice cases. That inquiry is considering questions about the highly questionable investigation in the Barnes case, as revealed in the Ombudsman's report. Members opposite say that Warren Grimshaw should not be part of the inquiry. He acknowledges that, as the Minister informed the House earlier. I have just been advised that Mr Grimshaw has resigned from the inquiry. That goes to the question raised by the honourable member. Mr Grimshaw, for the sake of appearing exactly as he is - fully independent - and for the sake of appropriate procedure and to ensure unquestionable independence, has withdrawn from the inquiry. I do not think he needed to resign, but to reassure honourable members I can inform them that he has done that this morning. Honourable members opposite should know also that the inquiries are being conducted by people whose independence must be beyond question.

If this House sets up the inquiry proposed by the shadow minister, the honourable member for Riverstone, a check of members of that inquiry would reveal the very people already doing that job. These are the sorts of people the House would select if it were setting up an inquiry. I fail to understand why, for other than political reasons, the honourable member for Riverstone would want to question their independence. Harry Eagleton is in charge of the inquiry into the administration and structure of the board. That inquiry will consider whether the board is carrying out its core business and will look at administration and support structures. The honourable member for Drummoyne suggested that if the community expects the Board of Studies to impose certain standards in relation to core educational requirements, with a return to basics, for example in the grammar section of the new syllabus, and if difficulty arises getting that message through to the board, one would first need to question the chief executive officer. That is one of the irretrievable differences that led to his sacking. Second, why would not the Minister say to the board, "This is what the community expects you to do on our behalf"?

It is ludicrous to suggest, as the honourable member for Drummoyne suggested, that the board should not take account of that. The Crown Solicitor is conducting an inquiry into the way the board investigated the cheating allegations against Christopher Barnes. Serious questions have been raised by the Ombudsman about John Cook and independent legal advice is being sought by the Government as to whether prosecution and disciplinary action should proceed against John Cook.

What else would the Opposition have the Government do? It is a nonsense to suggest that an inquiry should not proceed along the lines of the inquiry set up by the Minister. The Minister will assure the Legislative Council today that she will table the findings of the inquiry and in fact welcomes a full public debate. That is all the motion seeks from the House. If the Government supports the motion, it will simply give the Opposition a political platform. The Government is not about politics, it is about the efficient administration of New South Wales. [Time expired.]

Page 527

Mr RIXON (Lismore) [12.1]: This motion contains 116 words - 13 closely typewritten lines. Is it any wonder that the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, who is a mother and a former teacher, urges that in New South Wales we need to get back to basics and teach a little of the three Rs in our schools. The motion itself is confirmation of the Minister's actions. The interest of the media and the Opposition in the Christopher Barnes case has brought squarely into the spotlight the procedural and administrative practices of the New South Wales Board of Studies bureaucracy. The Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs has acted swiftly in directing that a review take place, and that review has been outlined by my colleagues.

I should state again for the benefit of members of the Opposition that the statutory board itself is not being reviewed - not its representation or functions as outlined in the Education Reform Act. It is patently obvious that there is no need for another review. The Opposition should stop wasting the time of this House and of the people of New South Wales. I recall at the end of last year we went through the pointless exercise of putting forward a pointless motion relating to amending violence legislation. At that time the Opposition once again was calling for measures which were already in place.

The removal of Mr Lambert is another matter for the Minister. Governments, not bureaucrats, are elected. The role of the public service and of the bureaucrats employed in the senior executive service of the public service is to implement the policies of the government of the day. If the working relationship between a Minister and his or her most senior bureaucrat breaks down, the efficiency and effectiveness of the department concerned is affected. The Daily Telegraph Mirror should be studied closely by some members of the Opposition. The Editor of the Daily Telegraph Mirror outlined the situation most eloquently in the editorial of 9 March 1994. I am pleased that the back-to-basics approach is being reintroduced. The editorial states:
      No government service is more important than the provision of education . . .

I am sure the shadow minister for education would agree 100 per cent, as would all honourable members who were previously teachers. The editorial continues:
      . . . and no government is likely to survive long if it devotes insufficient attention to education issues, education budgets.

Every parent would agree with those statements. The editorial states further:
      Equipping our children with living skills, giving them an understanding of their cultural inheritance and providing them with adequate vocational training is a duty which each generation owes to the next.
      Giving our children access to learning is not only their birthright. It is also an investment in the future, and if we are less than totally committed to educational excellence, we put at risk our chances of future prosperity.

Motions are put forward, as they have been today, by people who did not get back to basics. The editorial continues:
      Against that background, the schism between the ministerial office of the NSW Education Department and the Board of Studies, arguably the department's most powerful policy determinant, is intolerable.

The editorial is completely correct. It continues:
      Following Education Minister Virginia Chadwick's announcement yesterday that she had dismissed the president of the board, John Lambert, it became apparent that the relationship between the two had broken down completely.
      Citing "irreconcilable differences" as her reason for terminating Mr Lambert's contract, Mrs Chadwick indicated a number of areas of concern affecting the Board of Studies, including the botched handling of HSC student Christopher Barnes, who was wrongly accused of cheating in the exam and wrongly denied his HSC.

Elected representatives are responsible for the situation, not bureaucrats. [Time expired.]

Mr J. J. AQUILINA (Riverstone) [12.6], in reply: The drama in relation to this matter continues to grow even as we debate this matter today. The terms of reference of the so-called inquiry announced by the Minister three days ago have not been publicly released at this stage. I obtained a copy other than by way of public release. I did not bother reading those terms of reference. I was limited for time and I knew that either the Minister or the honourable member for Ku-ring-gai would do me the courtesy of reading them. However, I wish to add points 5 and 6 which are part of the terms of reference I have sought to introduce.

The other issue which has been raised by way of clandestine announcement during the course of this debate is that Mr Warren Grimshaw has retired from the inquiry. It is not good enough for a member of the Government to tell us, in the middle of his five-minute speech that he has been handed a note stating that Mr Grimshaw has retired from the inquiry. Is this how Government is run in this State: someone, who will remain anonymous, hands a note to a Government backbench member - he is not even a Minister, though no doubt he wishes he were one and perhaps some day he may end up being one. That Government backbench member then announced to the Chamber that Mr Grimshaw has resigned. This is even more alarming, because it is another instance of the Minister shooting from the hip, making policy on the run, making decisions on the run.

I do not know where the Minister is at the moment, perhaps the message came by way of the Minister's car phone. This matter is far too important to be treated in the casual way in which the Minister is treating it. It is far too important to have terms of reference of important inquiries selectively released to Government members. It is far too important to make decisions on the run about who will or who will not head the inquiry. It is far too important to reduce the matter to the simple issue of an irretrievable break-down between the Minister and a senior public officer, albeit the President of the Board of Studies.
Page 528
The issue is far more than a matter of irreconcilable differences or irretrievable break-down. As the educational columnist for the Daily Telegraph Mirror reported, this issue is not one that has just arisen; it is an issue that has been fermenting for a long time. Her opening sentence in a full-page article of 9 March states:
      After three years of fermenting in the dark, the lid has been lifted on the trouble with the Board of Studies.

That is precisely what is happening now and why a fully independent and public inquiry is needed. It is not merely an issue of a Minister not having confidence in the President of the Board of Studies. What is at issue is the constant tug of war, the tussle which has taken place over the past three years between the Minister and the Board of Studies and even the Department of School Education and the Board of Studies. The future of public education and, indeed, private education in New South Wales is at stake. Constant aggression and constant problems should not continue to arise. We cannot afford to have this continual tug of war between the Minister and the Board of Studies. Indeed, what the Minister has announced by way of the inquiry and the terms of reference does not go to the heart of the issue. Nowhere in the terms of reference read out to the Chamber by the honourable member for Ku-ring-gai is there any mention made about resolving the tensions between the Board of Studies and the Department of School Education or indeed the tensions between the Board of Studies and the Minister. Nor is there any reference to the legislative link that exists between the Board of Studies and the Minister, the inappropriateness of that legislative link and whether the Minister three years ago - [Time expired.]

Question - That the motion be agreed to - put.

The House divided.
Ayes, 48

Ms Allan Mr McManus
Mr Amery Mr Markham
Mr Anderson Mr Martin
Mr A. S. Aquilina Mr Mills
Mr J. J. Aquilina Ms Moore
Mr Bowman Mr Moss
Mr Carr Mr J. H. Murray
Mr Clough Mr Nagle
Mr Crittenden Mr Neilly
Mr Doyle Mr Newman
Mr Face Ms Nori
Mr Gaudry Mr E. T. Page
Mr Gibson Mr Price
Mrs Grusovin Mr Rogan
Mr Harrison Mr Rumble
Mr Hatton Mr Scully
Mr Hunter Mr Shedden
Mr Iemma Mr Sullivan
Mr Irwin Mr Thompson
Mr Knight Mr Whelan
Mr Knowles Mr Yeadon
Mr Langton
Mrs Lo Po' Tellers,
Mr McBride Mr Beckroge
Dr Macdonald Mr Davoren
Noes, 45

Mr Armstrong Mr W. T. J. Murray
Mr Beck Mr O'Doherty
Mr Blackmore Mr D. L. Page
Mr Causley Mr Peacocke
Mr Chappell Mr Petch
Mrs Chikarovski Mr Phillips
Mr Cochran Mr Photios
Mrs Cohen Mr Richardson
Mr Collins Mr Rixon
Mr Cruickshank Mr Schultz
Mr Downy Mrs Skinner
Mr Fahey Mr Small
Mr Fraser Mr Smith
Mr Glachan Mr Souris
Mr Griffiths Mr Tink
Mr Hazzard Mr Turner
Mr Humpherson Mr West
Dr Kernohan Mr Windsor
Mr Kinross Mr Yabsley
Mr Longley Mr Zammit
Ms Machin Tellers,
Mr Merton Mr Jeffery
Mr Morris Mr Kerr

Dr Refshauge Mr Baird
Mr Ziolkowski Mr Hartcher

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Motion agreed to.