Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 4830..
While we are faced with the actual facts of what is occurring in the disability sector—and this is what the parents were very concerned about—we are currently looking at the efficiency dividend cuts affecting two disability early intervention support workers, two English as a second language support workers, one support teacher for behavioural management, five classroom teachers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literacy and numeracy programs, two disability support workers, the scrapping of the post-school option position, the closure of the centre for teaching and learning resource centre and the closure of the education centre at the University of Canberra. The University of Canberra one is not part of your cuts, Mr Barr. I take that point before you make it.
The issues that we are looking at here are very much the concern of parents. The committee report is obviously looking at the needs of ACT students with a disability. It is ironic that some of these recommendations are coming in now when parents have been highlighting some of the actual developments at the moment which the Assembly has chosen to disregard after listening to them. Recommendation 9 is also an interesting one:
The Committee recommends that the Minister for Education and Training provide an explanation to the Legislative Assembly as to why the estimated average cost of providing education services to students with disabilities in mainstream public schools has not been subject to the same cost pressures as other service delivery costs and why the percentage growth in this cost between 1999 and 2008 is nearly half that of other percentage estimate average cost growth.
In line with that, parents are also very concerned about the fact that the proposed cuts that we are talking about are quite telling—that is, roughly speaking, 40 proposed reductions in departmental branches with support and/or student responsibilities as opposed to 11.5 proposed cuts in departmental branches with non-support responsibilities.
I think this report into the needs of ACT students with a disability is very timely. I look forward to further discussions on the report. Obviously, I am looking for feedback from parents as well. I welcome the report, but again I stress that I find it very ironic that it has been presented when the parents who raised many of the urgent and critical issues that are affecting the needs of their students with disabilities were so callously disregarded yesterday.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Ordered that executive business be called on.
Schools—capital works projects
Statement by minister
MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Minister for Gaming and Racing), by