Home' Teacher : December 2010 Contents News
The ATOM Awards of the Australian Teach-
ers of Media were announced in October.
Winner in the best primary video pro-
duction category was Fire: Friend or foe by
Year 3-4H of Lara Primary School, west
of Melbourne. Best primary animation
went to Jason's Journey by Ellie Johnston
of Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne.
Best middle school video production
went to Wind Girl by Alex Litchfield,
Raphael Fitzpatrick, Matilda Barlow, Elise
Dare, Reuben Culliton, Thomas Brownlow
and Sean O'Keeffe of Lithgow High School,
New South Wales. Best middle school ani-
mation went to Hindsight by Alistair Welsh
of Immanuel Lutheran College, Queensland.
Best senior secondary animation went
to Max by Kimberley Read of Melbourne
Girls' College. Best senior secondary docu-
mentary went to Matt the Rat by Audrey
Shaw of Melbourne Girls' College. Best
senior secondary fiction went to Happy,
Desperate, Lonely by Travis Unuka of
Footscray City College, Melbourne. Best
senior secondary music video went to Fire-
fly Effect by David Mahler of Carey Baptist
Grammar School, Melbourne.
Winner of the 2010 teacher's award was
Sue Hope of Immanuel Lutheran College,
Democracy in action
In the brave new world of federal politics,
the floor of the House of Representatives
has become a very interesting place. Parlia-
mentary reforms pioneered by cross-bench
independents Tony Windsor, Bob Katter
and Rob Oakeshott include dedicated time
to debate and vote on private members' -- or
backbenchers' -- bills.
There have been only 59 private mem-
bers' bills between 1901 and 1987, jumping
to 279 following parliamentary reforms in
1988. Until now, however, a mere 15 private
members' bills had been passed into law.
Commonwealth Shadow Minister for
Education Christopher Pyne appeared to be
keen to make that 16 with a private mem-
ber's bill for a judicial inquiry into alleged
rorting, price gouging, collusion, skimming
and waste in the Commonwealth govern-
ment's $16.2 billion Building the Education
Revolution (BER) Primary Schools for the
21st Century program.
The bill stalled, however, when Pyne
failed to attend the House of Representa-
tives chamber to move a vote. 'It became
quite apparent to me (on the morning of the
vote). . , having spent the week negotiating
with the independents, that the bill on the
judicial inquiry would not be successful,
which is disappointing,' he said. Independ-
ents Andrew Wilkie, Windsor and Katter,
and the Greens' Adam Bandt had advised
Pyne they would not be supporting the bill.
Oakeshott had raised concerns with Pyne
that a judicial inquiry might undermine the
work of the BER Implementation Taskforce
headed by Brad Orgill.
Meanwhile, a motion was passed by
Opposition Whip Nola Marino calling for
a change to Youth Allowance eligibility
requirements so that inner regional students
would qualify for the independent Youth
Allowance rate by earning $20,000 in a gap
year, in line with remote students.
Com monwealth Minister for Infra-
structure, Transport, Regional Develop-
ment and Local Government, and Leader
of the House, Anthony Albanese welcomed
the first votes on private members' business
under the new parliamentary procedures.
He could hardly condem n them, given that
the Labor minority government depends on
the independent cross-benchers who pushed
for them. Keep in mind, too, those same
independents have so far given no indication
that they want to make life difficult for the
The simple fact, as Oakeshott put it in
September, is that, 'The floor of the house
should matter.' Now, it does.
IN THE BRAVE NEW WORLD OF THE 43RD PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA,
THE LABOR MINORITY GOVERNMENT DOESN'T ALWAYS WIN, BUT IT'S
HARDLY TEMPESTUOUS, REPORTS STEVE HOLDEN.
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