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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3168..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

In its development, the draft instrument has been through a long process of consultation to date, including with a specific reference panel of stakeholders that includes parents. That process is ongoing, and given the complex range of issues with which the instrument is seeking to deal, the reference group has been the first point of contact in the development of the instrument. Once the reference group has signed off on that instrument, or at least on its general directions, then we will be in a position to move forward.

I understand that a range of issues has been raised by a number of parents, particularly parents of children with a range of autism spectrum disorder concerns. Those are issues that I and the department of education are very conscious of, and at this time we are seeking to work through those concerns with those parents, and to highlight what the advantages are of the proposed new instrument.

MS DUNDAS: Considering your stated position of seeking to work with parents to highlight the advantages of this model, can you explain why you are actually pushing forward with this model despite the consistent opposition of parents to this approach over the last five years?

MR CORBELL: I do not accept Ms Dundas' assertion that there has been consistent and widespread opposition to the development of this instrument. These are difficult issues, there is no doubt about it. The way in which you determine how resources are allocated to children with disabilities is a very complex matter, and a matter that has to be handled sensitively.

Overall, the work of the reference group has been very good and has been conducted in a highly collaborative and professional manner. The department will continue to work through those issues. The bottom line is that we do need a better way of assessing the needs of individual children with disabilities in the system, so that we can make sure we give them the resources they need. This is not, as some people assert, about reducing the special education budget. It is not about that. I am happy to provide Ms Dundas with a further briefing on the matter if she feels that would assist her understanding of these issues.

Residential speed limits

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services. The minister would be aware that, during the debate on the introduction of a 50-kilometre per hour trial, I was critical of the former government's approach to the trial and I said that we should have a 50-kilometre an hour standard across town.

I was also critical of there being no trial of the 50-kilometre an hour speed limit in commercial and industrial areas. We have seen a death in Fyshwick recently, which I think can be partly attributed to speed. There is confusion in signage. There has to be an attitudinal change to get people to slow down. Could the minister advise the Assembly exactly where we are with the 50-kilometre an hour trial?

MR WOOD: Yes, I remember Mr Hargreaves raising this issue with me before. I remember other members raising the issue. In fact, I think there was a motion in the Assembly, was there not, about it? My response at the time was: "Let's work this


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