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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 1200..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

I believe there is reason for extending that. At the moment it has been limited, almost accidentally or by default, to Forde and Bonner, but Casey is abutting Kinlyside. The new suburb of Crace is adjacent to nature reserves. I think we need to extend our thinking quite dramatically in relation to cats and the damage that cats, most particularly, do in our suburbs and our environment. They are very big killers, cats, and we do need to control them far more responsibly than we do. I will provide the detail of the information you seek, Ms Le Couteur.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Chief Minister, Could you also look at north Weston as a possibility for another cat containment area and north Watson? Is the government considering, possibly through the RSPCA, subsidising cat desexing? The money is presumably one of the reasons it does not happen.

MR STANHOPE: I will take some advice on that. It is an issue that I recall Mr Linke raising on a number of occasions. In the context of our overall funding of the RSPCA, I am not quite sure whether we, particularly in the last injection of funds that we made, specified in any way how the money might be used. There might be an opportunity for the government to provide some targeted funding in relation to the desexing of cats.

I know that it is an issue that has been considered previously and raised with the government in the context potentially of the capacity to provide funding for the desexing of cats. It was a program that has previously been raised with the government in relation to perhaps the institution of a means tested approach to cat desexing. It is an issue that I am happy to continue to explore.

Special education review

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the minister for education and relates to the review of the special education needs of the ACT. Minister, after delaying this study for many years, why have you moved forward with the study while specifically telling the review there will be no extra money to implement their recommendations?

MR BARR: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. Mr Doszpot has fundamentally misunderstood the terms of reference and the nature of the review. The review is into special education provision in public schools and in the public system. It relates principally to curriculum and pedagogy. It is not an exercise in castles in the sky grand policy design; it is looking at specific issues within the delivery of special education, focusing on curriculum and pedagogy, what we are teaching and how we are teaching it, and looking at whether we are effectively implementing—using the existing resources, effectively delivering services, and whether, in responding to a range of increased demands on the special education system and provision within our public schooling system, we are utilising the latest in teaching techniques and accessing all of the capability that exists within the ACT public education system. It is not an exercise in reviewing the SCAN process; it is not an exercise in reviewing the amount of money that is available within the sector. It is around utilising existing resources.


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