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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (17 September) . . Page.. 4178..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

full list of the partners; GHD is one of them, but I am sure we can provide you with that—have signed contracts which share the risks and responsibilities for delivery of the enlarged Cotter Dam project. Advice to me—and I am happy to look at what information I can assist the opposition with in terms of specifics provided to me by Treasury—is that Actew looked at all the different methods of delivering this project and the alliance model was the one that they settled on. As I said, this was a matter for the board.

MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question. Minister, can you identify the water security projects in this or other jurisdictions that have successfully used the alliance model and have come in under budget?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I think I can provide that information. I can give you a couple of examples where the alliance model has been used in Victoria, in the Eildon Dam upgrade; in Queensland in the Heinz Dam upgrade, the Ross River Dam upgrade, the Awoonga Dam raising, the Toowoomba pipeline and the Wivenhoe Dam upgrade. I have certainly seen somewhere—I think it might have been in some information Actew provided me with—that 83 per cent of alliance delivery models came in on or under budget. If I can provide any further information, I will.

Schools—truancy

MS HUNTER: My question is to the minister for education. Are there procedures in ACT government schools to comply with section 35(1) of the Education Act 2004, and that is to encourage students to attend school regularly and to help parents to encourage their children to attend school? Is it consistently applied across ACT government schools? And how are these procedures enforced?

MR BARR: Yes, the Education Act is consistently applied across government schools, and I am happy to provide the detail of how the education department seeks to work with other government agencies, most particularly the police, in relation to non-attendance. I know there has been a case this year already on enforcement of that provision, and I will provide that detail for the member.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: How are parents informed about these truancy procedures and are they informed about procedures before there is an instance of truancy?

MR BARR: Through one of the smart schools: smart students projects that the government funded in the 2006-07 budget, an SMS alert system was put in place for parents. The roll is marked at school and if the student is not present then an SMS alert can be sent to the parent or guardian alerting them to that fact. That can be nearly a real-time indication to parents that their son or daughter is not attending school.

There are other electronic roll-marking methods that are available across the ACT public education system. And we need to put some context around this issue: it is a very small number of students who are not regularly attending school. Schools work very closely with those students and with their parents or guardians to ensure that students are in fact attending school and attending all the classes.


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