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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1598..

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question. It is important that we engage with families within our education system. Our public school enrolments continue to grow by 3.3 per cent this year. That is the sixth consecutive year of growth. Families are recognising the value of and valuing our public education system. I firmly believe that parental engagement is important. We are the first jurisdiction to undertake a research-based parental engagement project and I look forward to that work over this year.

I am pleased to see that one of the few positives in the federal budget was indeed funding for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. They will pick up where the ACT has begun to lead.

Our gifted and talented student policy promotes open engagement with parents and carers and the "let's read"program engages parents on children's early reading abilities. We engage via regular communications with the major advisory groups, via social media and by making our online resources more accessible, and through our partnerships with business and community groups.

And to support the new online enrolment system, on the eve of public education week many of our high schools are conducting open days where parents and students can get a feel of the school and its community. Parent and family engagement is regarded as crucial and critical in supporting a child's academic development and success, and I intend to continue to champion this across our public education system.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Construction industry—Hewatt Earthworks

Budget—consolidated financial report

MR BARR: Earlier in the week Mr Wall asked me a question in relation to Hewatt Earthworks, and the answer to that question is that on 16 April a brief was provided to my office.

Mr Smyth and Mr Doszpot asked questions in relation to public trading enterprises—page 25, I believe, of the March quarterly update—transactions involving owners affecting accumulated funds. I advise the Assembly that these are the total of capital injections provided to public trading enterprises together with the dividends paid by them. The dividends approved item in the statement of changes in equity statement for PTEs comprises the amount of dividends that the public trading enterprises estimate they will pay to the government.

The reasons for the variations largely relate to the timing of declarations of dividends. ACTEW Corporation traditionally declares its interim dividend in May of each year. The decrease in dividends approved from the original budget to the revised estimate is reflective of the decrease in ACTEW Corporation's dividend for reasons that we have discussed extensively in this place.

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