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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 4 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 1287..


MR BARR (continuing):

if he is suggesting that we should equate major commercial development with putting a fence around a school, installing a flagpole or putting a new sign in front of a school and that they should receive equivalent treatment in the planning system—a major commercial development or a school fence or a major commercial development or a new airlock on the front of a school building—that is where he and I will depart company on what is necessary to ensure the efficient operation of planning and development in this city.

I do not think anyone is arguing that major commercial developments that are already exempt from third party appeals within town centres should be further removed from planning consideration if they are of such complexity, such size and of such impact that they should fall within the merit or impact tracks of the new Planning and Development Act.

I do not think even the Leader of the Opposition, in the great moments when he and the Property Council get together to conjure up the abolition of planning in the territory, would go so far as to suggest that we should be equating minor alterations to school buildings as per the regulations that the government has tabled with $100 million complex commercial property developments.

Education—special needs

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and concerns the special needs education review. Minister, in the lead-up to the 2008 election, at a public forum on special needs education at Dickson college, you said, in relation to the student centred assessment of needs process, or SCAN process—and I quote:

The Scanning process is overly bureaucratic, it is something we will look at in the review.

When asked again at the same meeting about the SCAN process, you said—and again I quote:

I undertake as part of the review to look at that.

Mr Barr, will you give the parents of children needing the full support of the government to achieve the best for their children under the special needs education program an assurance that this SCAN process will be included in Professor Shaddock's review?

MR BARR: No, Mr Speaker, I won't. I believe the appropriate forum for those issues to be reviewed is the Legislative Assembly education committee's inquiry that was agreed upon between Labor and the Greens and that we agreed should be completed by November this year. I believe that is the appropriate area to look at these issues. I have raised that with Ms Hunter before, and I believe that is where those matters should be considered.

The terms of reference for Professor Shaddock's review were agreed with stakeholders and focus on curriculum and pedagogy. That should be the focus of the


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