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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (28 October) . . Page.. 5306..


As a disallowable instrument, the Jerrabomberra wetlands nature reserve plan of management does not come into effect until mid-December this year, as the Planning and Development Act requires a disallowance period of six sitting days after presentation to the Assembly. However, in order that members of the public have access to the plan, it will be made available on the Department of Territory and Municipal Services website from today. Printed copies of the plan will be available after it comes into effect. A copy of the final plan will be provided to those individuals and organisations that made comment on the draft.

ACT residents are privileged to have a wetland which provides habitat for more than 170 bird species. It supports Canberra's bush capital title. It is my pleasure to present the Jerrabomberra wetlands nature reserve plan of management to the Assembly.

Education—teachers

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Bresnan, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Smyth be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of supporting teachers who assist students with a disability.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.18): Mr Speaker, I am delighted to present this matter of public importance today but, in another way, I am absolutely disappointed that we have to. It deals with a couple of the most significant issues: first, the way in which we deal with those people in our community, particularly students, who have a disability; and, secondly, the way in which we encourage and support those who teach and, in reality, work very closely with those students.

I am reminded of Minister Barr's words just from Tuesday this week where he opened his statement with the words:

The most important job for any government is making sure young people get the best possible start in life.

So that is the premise from the minister: the most important job for any government is making sure people get the best possible start in life. Yet the reality of the last eight or nine months is that the families of those young people who most deserve government assistance to get the best possible start in life have been denied that assistance. It is only through the efforts of this place that we have been able to bring the minister to heel to ensure that those families get that assistance.

I refer to an email I had from a family whose child was at the Shepherd Centre, and this is where it all starts:

The vast majority of kids that come out of the centre go onto main stream schools with normal or even above average communication skills, and are given


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