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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3572..

MS GALLAGHER: The origins of the HAAS program has been looking at similar models that work interstate. These are similar models to what worked in Queensland and South Australia and, indeed, internationally and have been piloted with great success. There have been issues when the medical needs of a student become very dependent on one particular individual in a school, and that is the basis of having three people trained for each child that requires this program so that there can be some flexibility if people leave work, have holidays, are sick or need breaks during the day.

We are very keen to make sure that families feel supported through this process. As I said with the other schools—Black Mountain, Woden and a couple of students at Malkara who are under the HASS program already—the response since it has been implemented has been very positive from the parents and from the staff and the school communities.

I am aware of the concerns and I am going to work to address them. But the program itself is working pretty well. We need to make sure that people are supported through these changes. If it is not appropriate for a particular student, then so be it.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, was this decision taken as part of a cost-saving measure?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not believe so. I certainly have not seen anything that would indicate that was the case. I think there is a genuine question about needing to utilise the workforce we have available in the best way we can. If some of these support and caring tasks can be performed by people less qualified than a registered nurse, but suitably trained, then that is an efficient use of taxpayer funding as well. But no, it was not motivated by dollars.

Transport—light rail

MR COE: My question is for the Chief Minister. It was published today that the ACT government spent $114,000 on lighting at a site at which all lights, wires, pipes and poles will have to be removed to make way for the light rail track and city light rail terminus. Chief Minister, how is it that your government's directorates are not across the route alignment for your flagship infrastructure project?

MS GALLAGHER: It actually falls under the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate. But I can assure Mr Coe that when I saw the work being commenced I sought assurances from TAMS that the work was urgent and needed to be done and could not be delayed considering the upheaval that will occur in the near future for capital metro. I received advice that that was certainly the case.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, how is that TAMS spent $114,000 on a project in which none of the items would be recoverable following the inevitable ripping out of the poles and wires to make way for light rail?

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