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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 2 Hansard (20 March) . . Page.. 662..


Canberra is unique in its social demography. It is unique for the number of students that attend both government and non-government schools depending on where they are in their educational cycle. It is not uncommon for a family to send a child to a Catholic preschool, a public primary school, an independent high school and a public college. They may choose to do that because they can afford to, but more likely it is because it is that mix that best suits their children and their family needs and expectations.

We need to ensure that such choice is supported and encouraged. Canberra families want and expect the best educational outcomes for their children, so it is important that we deliver the widest options possible. We can only do that if we accept that all our schools have the capacity to be above the national minimum average, that all our students attending these schools deserve the best education available.

I thank Mrs Jones once again for bringing this motion into the chamber.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.20): I want to briefly address some of the comments that Mr Doszpot made in his speech regarding the Gonski campaign. The Gonski campaign is the only campaign that is joining communities, parents, teachers and supporters together in calling for funding based on needs for children in our schools. I disagree with and take offence at Mr Doszpot's stating that people are mindlessly chanting the Gonski line if what we are chanting is a call for needs-based funding from the federal government that was promised and has been reneged on. Yesterday Mr Doszpot said the Gonski campaign was all over and done with and that we were wasting our time. I do not think we are wasting our time when it comes to our children.

In his speech today, Mr Doszpot went on to again compare teachers to childminders. I was not sure whether he was talking about teachers or early childhood educators, but I am sure that they would take offence to that as well.

I did not want to take too long on this. I just wanted to say that public education is very important for Canberra, and we have got a proud record of being supporters of public education.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Doszpot.

MS BERRY: The only voice out there in the community calling for funding based on need is the Gonski campaign, and I support that campaign.

Discussion concluded.

Standing orders—proposed amendments

Debate resumed from 28 November 2013, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That standing orders 247 to 252 be omitted and the following standing orders be substituted:


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