STEVE Doszpot says that months since a cage structure was discovered in a Canberra classroom, and weeks since Minister Joy Burch promised to release information, absolutely nothing has been forthcoming.
“All attempts to find out what happened have been met with stonewalling, including the latest blocking of FOI requests,” Steve said.
“It is now hard to believe anything other than this is less an investigation and more a cover up.
“Minister Burch apologised that her initial claim in April that the inquiry would be swift had not been met, but assured an Assembly Committee that the report would be available in 2-3 weeks. Five weeks have passed and nothing has come from the Minister – not an explanation, not an apology, nothing.
“Parents are still objecting to being kept in the dark about much of the issue, including whether the removal of the principal was a temporary or permanent arrangement, who authorised the cage structure and how on earth it was built in a Canberra classroom.
“A recent FOI request on the matter of when, where, how and why the cage structure was erected has been blocked, with many departmental emails remaining secret. Even the terms of reference have not been made public.
“Is it any wonder that a growing number of parents, parent groups and the AEU have all expressed a lack of confidence in the Minister?
“The situation has been badly managed from the start and we are all sick of the constant blocking and cover up. This is a very serious matter, and hiding behind ‘HR’, or ‘broader investigations’ is simply not good enough and is frankly just a smokescreen. We are not asking for the privacy of any individual to be compromised, but for the issue to be properly addressed.
“The fact remains that a cage was built in a Canberra classroom and a boy was allegedly put in it. That fact must be faced – seriously, completely and openly. I call on the Minister to stop blocking and start answering the community’s questions,” concluded Mr Doszpot.