Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3079..
MR BARR (continuing):
ensure further compliance and further measures in relation to the security of the NAPLAN documents. That is an important element and that was something that ministers did raise.
In jurisdictions other than the ACT there were some concerns in terms of the implementation of the testing in May. Obviously the threat of a boycott by the Australian Education Union and its impact on public schools was discussed. We were pleased to see that there was an outcome that saw the Education Union withdraw their threat of a boycott to the tests. The tests are important. The tests are significant in providing an evidence base for further education policy. The tests are important for ACT students. Parents value them. This government supports NAPLAN and supports the My School website.
MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, when will the proposed government and AEU working group on the My School website be convened, and when can we expect the results of the deliberations?
MR BARR: The head of ACARA, Barry McGaw, wrote to ministers in the last few weeks, indicating that the first meeting had taken place and that a range of issues were being discussed. My understanding is that those meetings will continue over the next few months and report progressively to the next scheduled meeting of the ministerial council. Members would be, of course, aware that we are very close, it would seem, to a federal election. So whether in fact the ministerial council meets again before that election is a matter that I cannot confirm at this stage. But I am certainly aware that that reference group continues to meet. It is at a national level, of course, as I am sure Ms Bresnan and Ms Hunter are aware. So there is not a direct involvement by me, as the ACT minister. However, we are looking with great interest at the results of that working group.
The former Deputy Prime Minister and education minister was very clear—and I endorsed this 100 per cent—that no information will be removed from the My School website. The discussion is simply about what new and additional information will be provided to parents. More information is better for all education stakeholders. There is a lot at stake here. But what we are doing is moving away from the poker machine approach to education which is simply to put another dollar in and hope that we get a better outcome. We are delivering an education revolution in this city and in this country, and we are ensuring that we are doing so with a sound evidence base. And that is how we should be directing new resources in education—to those areas and those schools that most need it.
Community sector—portable long service leave
MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. I acknowledge that there is significant community interest in the particular subject which I am going to ask a question about, which can be contrasted against the lack of interest there has been in the chamber from people in the budget discussions thus far.