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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 5 Hansard (7 April) . . Page.. 1530..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

bring more skilled overseas workers into Australia, despite evidence of more and more young people here wanting to gain a vocation. It includes the creation of 24 new technical colleges, which are designed and placed, interestingly, in marginal seats, and, not only that, are aimed at undermining the state and territory TAFEs. A technical college is to be established in Queanbeyan. That will have significant impact on the Queanbeyan public school system and we think an impact on the ACT CIT.

This is the redefinition of user choice to hide the real disempowerment of young Australians through vocational education. It is interesting that yesterday we had a discussion on compulsory student unionism in universities. Under the most recent commonwealth proposal, which we will be discussing next Friday, 15 April, there was a laughable redefinition of user choice. Currently young apprentices and trainees in the territory have the right to choose their training provider. This is something that the previous federal government pushed very heavily but under the proposals of this offer, that system would be scrapped and employers would be the ones who have the sole choice in training arrangements.

On the one hand, compulsory student unionism in universities is to be abolished in the name of student choice and on the other hand the rights of apprentices and trainees to choose their training provider is abolished—again, in the name of student choice. We listened to those opposite yesterday talk about freedom of association and choice; so we know they would support students being able to choose their own training provider. Unfortunately, you will be at odds with the people that give you your instructions every day, but there you go. This is an area where all stakeholders, regardless of backgrounds, work together in harmony in the interests of skilling young Australians, skilling all Australians. It is particularly disappointing to watch this system being abolished to make way for a system that seeks to exclude critical and willing stakeholders.

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

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Disability services

MR HARGREAVES: Yesterday, Mrs Burke asked me whether any of the 15 unsuccessful applicants were set to receive emergency funding because they did not receive funding under an ISP. My answer is that none of the 15 applicants who were short-listed for ISP grants and who were unsuccessful received emergency funding. However, a number of unsuccessful applicants are already linked into support and alternative service providers and we will continue to work towards improving their outcomes over the longer term.

Housing

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I was just contemplating the offer of a briefing for Dr Foskey. I do have some information. I know that Mrs Burke has an interest in this sort of stuff and I thought I should take the opportunity to give some information. The question, essentially, was about how we were responding to the strategies of the affordable housing task force. The government announced a number of affordability initiatives in the 2003-04 and 2004-05 budgets and additional appropriations. The 2003-04 budget provided $13.4 million over four years to address homelessness. There


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