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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1595..

Tenants Union in a central location. This program is also facilitating the deployment of other community legal centre activities, including the Disability Discrimination Legal Service, street law, as I have mentioned, the Tenants Advisory Service, the night-time legal service and the Indigenous women's law and justice support program.

These are the commitments this Labor government is making to support the vulnerable when it comes to legal advice and representation. Whilst there is still a great pool of unmet need, we need to be increasing funding, not cutting it. (Time expired).

Education—public education week

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training and relates to the success of public education in the ACT. Minister, today is the launch date for this year's public education week. Can you inform the Assembly what events are being held during the week to promote public education in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest in public education. Today I have the pleasure of supporting the launch of public education week. I am very proud to be able to use this week to highlight the successes and achievements of Canberra's public schools. Public education week 2014 will showcase the achievement of our schools, teachers, staff and students as well as the local community. We will particularly celebrate our successes in the ACT as an education system widely regarded as the best in Australia.

It is very disappointing to see in this week's federal budget that the Liberals are scrapping their commitment to the final two years of the national education reform. While we are still analysing the impact on ACT public schools, it is clear from the budget papers that the ACT Catholic schools have been particularly hard hit.

But this week is public education week. This week will officially be launched today at the Civic library. I look forward to joining the teachers, students and staff there and enjoying some of the great art created by our schools.

The annual recognition of service awards acknowledge the great contribution made by our staff. These awards honour fantastic service over many years to public education in the ACT. Next Thursday, which is public education day, there will be an annual public education dinner. I understand that the evening will be hosted by Jane Caro, with a keynote address by Brian Schmidt.

On Saturday the 23rd, students from Canberra schools will showcase their musical and artistic talent at Westfield Belconnen. I encourage members to have a look at the great talent of our students there.

It is also during this week that many of our schools hold their annual open nights, celebrating their excellence and diversity in the key enrolment period. It is significant that enrolments in ACT public schools are continuing to grow, just as graduates of our schools continue to excel in all walks of life.

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