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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3713..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

The schools IT infrastructure fund initiative of $3.6 million will provide ACT government schools with the capacity, on a shared cost basis, to purchase and upgrade IT resources including hardware, software, communications equipment and related facilities. Implementation of this initiative is also under way. Of course there is the amount of $2.49 million over the next four years for the non-government schools ICT initiative, with a tied per capita grant to improve student ICT technology in those schools and allow for resources to deliver information and communication technology for students, irrespective of school size and financial capacity. The wireless broadband to schools will provide broadband access to those schools that cannot be connected by TransACT cables.

Members will also be interested to know that, just last week, I launched a CD ROM of digital curriculum content developed by The Le@rning Federation, for use in all ACT schools. Over the next few weeks all schools will be provided with that CD ROM, which is a fantastic curriculum initiative if anyone gets the opportunity to play on it.

In an increasingly digital society, students need access to engaging, interactive programs at school. The learning will enable teachers to engage students, support the different ways in which they learn and, importantly, prepare our children and young people to become future citizens of the world.

The ACT is one of the first jurisdictions in Australia to launch the new digital curriculum content as part of a joint initiative of the Australian, New Zealand, and state and territory governments. The teachers and students who trialled "Learning Objects"last year were excited about them and are keen to start using them as soon as possible. "Learning Objects"on CD ROM will be distributed to all ACT government and non-government schools during the coming months.

The ACT government has shown leadership in ICT initiatives in schools. We will make sure that all of our schools remain right at the forefront in terms of delivery of facilities and programs so that our students have access to the best possible curriculum content, access to the best equipment and access to the best technology we can provide to enable them to take full advantage of their lives after they leave school, fully equipped with all the skills they need these days.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Canberra Hospital

MR WOOD: I provide an additional response to a question asked earlier by Ms Dundas. During the Christmas and January period the adolescent ward is moved into the children's ward but, apart from that, it does not close.

Schools-asbestos

MS GALLAGHER: On 5 August Mr Stefaniak asked me a question about asbestos audits in schools. I can now provide the member with the information he was seeking. There have been two asbestos material audits in schools. The first audit was carried out


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