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  • LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

    QUESTIONS AND

    ANSWERS

    No. 35

    THURSDAY 21 DECEMBER 2006

    (The Questions and Answers Paper, published according to sessional order, contains by number and title, all unanswered questions, together with questions to which answers have been received as at 21 December 2006.)

    Notice given on date shown

    637

  • Publication of Questions Answer to be lodged by

    Q & A No. 26 (Including Question Nos 0372 to 0378) 19 December 2006

    Q & A No. 27 (Including Question Nos 0379 to 0389) 20 December 2006

    Q & A No. 28 (Including Question Nos 0390 to 0395) 21 December 2006

    Q & A No. 29 (Including Question Nos 0396 to 0404) 26 December 2006

    Q & A No. 30 (Including Question Nos 0405 to 0427) 27 December 2006

    Q & A No. 31 (Including Question Nos 0428 to 0541) 28 December 2006

    Q & A No. 32 (Questions—Nil) -

    Q & A No. 33 (Questions—Nil) -

    Q & A No. 34 (Questions—Nil) -

    Q & A No. 35 (Questions—Nil) -

    638 Legislative Council Questions and Answers No. 35— Thursday 21 December 2006

    CSTOWE Text Box Q & A No. 32 Paper published according to sessional order (no questions submitted)

    CSTOWE Text Box Q & A No. 33 Paper published according to sessional order (no questions submitted)

    CSTOWE Text Box Q & A No. 34 Paper published according to sessional order (no questions submitted)

    CSTOWE Text Box Q & A No. 35 Paper published according to sessional order (no questions submitted)

  • 14 NOVEMBER 2006 (Paper No. 26)

    *373 ENVIRONMENT—NANOTECHNOLOGIES—Ms Rhiannon asked the Minister for Commerce, Minister for Finance, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Vice President of the Executive Council representing the Attorney General, Minister for the Environment, and Minister for the Arts—

    (1) Did the report on nanotechnology, produced in 2004 entitled "Nanotechnologies: Opportunities and Uncertainties", by the United Kingdom's Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering raise serious concerns about the toxicity of nanoparticles and nanomaterials and the risks they pose to human health and the environment?

    (2) Did the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering state, "Until more is known about environmental impacts of nanoparticles and nanotubes, we recommend that the release of manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes into the environment be avoided as far as possible" (Section 5.7: paragraph 63)?

    (3) Did the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering make the specific recommendation that: "in relation to two main sources of current and potential releases of free nanoparticles and nanotubes to the environment, we recommend: (a) that factories and research laboratories treat manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes as if

    they were hazardous, and seek to reduce or remove them from waste streams. (Section 5.4: paragraph 41)

    (b) that the use of free (that is, not fixed in a matrix) manufactured nanoparticles in environmental applications such as remediation be prohibited until appropriate research has been undertaken and it can be demonstrated that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks. (Section 5.4: paragraph 44)"?

    (4) What steps has the Minister taken to review the State's existing environmental regulations to assess whether or not they are adequate to protect the environment from the hazards posed by nanoparticles and nanomaterials?

    (5) (a) Do existing regulations require factories and research laboratories to treat manufactured

    nanoparticles and nanotubes as if they were hazardous, and seek to reduce or remove them from waste streams?

    (b) If not, why not?

    (6) If not, what steps will be taken to ensure that manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes will be reduced or removed from both factory and research laboratory waste streams?

    (7) (a) Do existing regulations prohibit the use of free manufactured nanoparticles in environmental

    applications such as remediation and waste treatment? (b) If not, what steps will be taken to ensure that nanoparticle or nanomaterial-based environmental

    applications are prohibited in New South Wales, until such time as appropriate research has been undertaken and it can be demonstrated that the potential benefits outweigh the potential risks?

    (8) (a) Is there any existing use, or intended use, of nanoparticle or nanomaterial-based environmental

    applications such as for remediation and waste treatment in New South Wales? (b) If so, what applications are planned and where will these applications be manufactured?

    (9) (a) Are there any plans in place for the use of nanoparticle or nanomaterial-based environmental

    applications at the Woodlawn Bioreactor? (b) If so, what are the details of this plan?

    Answer—

    639

    Legislative Council Questions and Answers No. 35— Thursday 21 December 2006

  • I understand that the 2004 report on nanotechnology raised concerns about nanoparticles and nanomaterials, and the risks they pose to human health and the environment. Please refer directly to the report for further information. I am advised that the Federal Government is considering whether its regulatory framework is appropriate for assessing and regulating nanomaterials, in order to protect human health and the environment. All States and Territories are being consulted on this work. In New South Wales, all wastes, including those that contain manufactured nanoparticles and nanotubes, are required to be properly assessed, classified and managed. Existing regulation does not prohibit the use of free manufactured nanoparticles in environmental applications such as remediation and waste treatment. However, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) advises that it is not aware of any existing use, or intended use, of nanoparticle or nanomaterial-based environmental applications, such as for remediation and waste treatment, anywhere in NSW. DEC is not aware of any plans in place for the use of nanoparticle or nanomaterial-based environmental applications at the Woodlawn Bioreactor.

    *374 EDUCATION AND TRAINING—SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS—Ms Rhiannon asked the Minister for Health representing the Minister for Education and Training—

    (1) (a) Will resource based funding for children with special needs cease to operate at the end of 2006? (b) If so, why?

    (2) What impacts would reverting to the previous funding model have on the ability of SSPs and support units to deliver quality educational services for children with special needs?

    (3) Will the Government implement the findings of the Comino Review in respect of staffing and resources for children with special needs? (a) If not, why not? (b) If so, when?

    (4) What steps will be taken to ensure that children with multiple disabilities receive the resources according to their support needs?

    Answer— (1) The resource based staffing trial has been replaced by the Government's Special Education Initiative

    which has provided more than 660 teachers aide special positions to support classes in regular schools and support classes in SSPs.

    (2) There is no reversion to a previous funding model. On 18 August 2004, the Government announced a plan to overhaul special education. The Government's Special Education Initiative 2005 2007 included the provision of a new staffing model where all classes in SSPs and support classes in regular schools will have a teacher and teachers aide special.

    (3) The Government's Special Education Initiative 2005 2007 has embraced the findings of the Comino Review of Special Education Staffing Formulae and is part of the Government's $834 million for 2006⁄2007 to support students with special needs.

    (4) The 2006 Auditor-General's Report Educating Primary School Students with Disabilities recognised the appropriateness of the Government's Special Education Initiative and has provided the Department of Education and Training with guidance for further planning and enhancements to special education. This report makes specific recommendations on the way in which students with special needs could be better assessed to ensure that resources are better allocated against the specific additional educational needs of students with disabilities.

    *375 EDUCATION AND TRAINING—REDEVELOPMENTS OF HOLROYD SCHOOL—Ms Rhiannon asked the Minister for Health representing the Minister for Education and Training—

    (1) Where are the proposed redevelopments of Holroyd School in the priority list? (2) For each stage of the redevelopment that has not yet been undertaken, when is it estimated that these

    redevelopments will commence and when are they expected to be completed?

    640 Legislative Council Questions and Answers No. 35— Thursday 21 December 2006

  • Answer— The Government is committed to the provision of the best possible facilities for staff and students at schools across the State. In 2006⁄2007, the Iemma Government is investing a record $486 million to upgrade facilities at public schools. This is the biggest school rebuilding program in the history of NSW and highlights a 145 per cent increase in funding since the Opposition was last in government. The NSW Labor Government's record is impressive with over 360 major school upgrades worth more than $1 million each (e.g. halls, libraries, gyms, additional classrooms) being completed since 1995. Funding for Stage One of the upgrade of

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