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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 841..


MR BARR (continuing):

The state and territory education ministers have agreed that they will continue to share high quality curriculum material. We are going to work together to develop the nationally consistent curricula that will set the content and achievement standards expected of all Australian students throughout their schooling. We are initially starting with the core subject areas of English, mathematics and science.

The greatest challenge here is getting the balance right between national consistency and local content. Some elements of schooling cannot be captured by a national curriculum document and should be left to local communities. Schools will always be best placed to promote creative problem-solving and ethical behaviour within individual students.

I believe that the ACT is well placed to contribute to the national curriculum. We are already working to ensure a consistent curriculum across all schools in the ACT-government and non-government. The ACT curriculum framework enjoys strong community support because parents, teachers and education experts have been involved-from the beginning, in a cross-sectoral manner, working collaboratively-in determining what students in the ACT education system should be taught. The ACT framework would work well in a national context.

Rather than seeking to wave a big stick around to try to tie agreement to John Howard's view of education by way of tied funding, there is a better approach: to work collaboratively with the people who deliver education-the states and territories-to achieve positive outcomes for Australian students.

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

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Public service-credit card use

MR STANHOPE: I have some information in relation to questions that I have taken on notice. I have today undertaken to provide more information on matters of great, slathering interest to the opposition. I have some information but will provide the rest later.

Issues that have been raised in relation to expenditures include an expenditure by a chief executive to purchase goods, in the first instance, worth $491 from Vintage Cellars on 25 November 2005 and, secondly, $405 on 22 June 2006. These amounts were for the purchase of alcohol for use by the chief executive's office to entertain guests and were authorised in accordance with departmental hospitality financial instruction.

A purchase was made by a senior executive at Strandbags on 14 July 2005 of a wheeled carry case to carry heavy departmental documents to external meetings. A card was used by a chief executive at a London restaurant on 9 October 2005, at a cost of $1,600. The amount spent was for hospitality expenses at an Austrade organised function attended by London-based representatives of Canberra companies and Austrade officials.


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