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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 69 asked in the Legislative Council on 18 February 2020 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon S.M. Ellery
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

SCHOOL CLOSURES — TROPICAL CYCLONE DAMIEN — PILBARA

69. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Education and Training:

My question without notice refers to school closures due to the destruction in Karratha from tropical cyclone Damien.

(1) Which schools remain closed in Karratha due to the cyclone as of today, and can the minister provide reasons as to why and some sort of indication of when they might be open?

Hon Sue Ellery: Did you give notice?

Hon JACQUI BOYDELL: No, I said it was without notice.

(2) What is the minister's plan to ensure that students are attending school at the earliest availability?

(3) Has the minister been contacted by the member for Pilbara about the school closures?

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

I am happy to take the question. The member would have got perhaps a more accurate answer if she had given me some notice.

(1)–(3) In respect of the last part of the member's question about the member for Pilbara, yes, absolutely. We have been in regular contact with him. He received a briefing. I cannot remember what date it was, but he received a briefing last week and my office has been in contact with him, responding to queries from him since.

As at yesterday—if I had had some notice, I might have been able to give the member more up-to-date information, but I cannot—Peg's Creek Primary School still has asbestos-containing material that needs to be remediated. It is likely that staff will return to Peg's Creek on Wednesday and students on Thursday. I am just seeing whether there is any other information. Baynton West Primary School, Millars Well Primary School, Wickham Primary School and Roebourne District High School were due to open today. I am just checking whether Dampier Primary School opened today; I cannot tell from this note. Just let me have a look. I cannot tell from that note, but if the member had given me notice, I probably would have been able to.

Was there any other element of the —

Hon Jacqui Boydell: With respect, this is a very urgent issue in Karratha. These kids haven't been in school for a week. I would've thought you would know about that.

Hon SUE ELLERY: I agree, and I am giving the member the answer. I am telling her that if she had given me notice, I would have been able to give her the precise date that —

Hon Jacqui Boydell interjected.

The PRESIDENT: Order! Member, you have asked a detailed question without notice. The minister is attempting to provide you with the best response she can in the circumstances. Minister, you may want to provide the remainder of the answer at a later stage, if that makes things easier.

Hon SUE ELLERY: If I can give the member all that she wants now, I will; I have just got a note. Dampier Primary School opens tomorrow. Was there any other element of the member's question?

Hon Jacqui Boydell: For the ones that remain closed, what's the plan?

Hon SUE ELLERY: It is Dampier and Peg's Creek. The students from Dampier I think have been offered an alternative at another school. Peg's Creek, I am not sure. Like I said, if the member had given me notice, I would have been able to give her an answer.