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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 1 Hansard (9 February) . .

Page.. 52..


MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, when will the expert committee recommendation 10, employment of additional psychologists, school counsellors or other professionals, be delivered, and will they be additional to the four psychologists previously agreed as part of the current EBA, finalised last year but not yet implemented?

MR RATTENBURY: Yes, that issue has certainly had some prominence in recent days. In terms of the multiple parts of Mr Doszpot's question, what I can say is that we need to ensure we have sufficient services available for students to support their educational, social and emotional needs in schools. That is done through the provision of a range of services. Some of those will be psychologists, but some will be counsellors and also youth workers and pastoral care workers.

It is important to look in a bit of detail at what the expert panel actually said. They commented on these broader issues specifically and they said that in the panel's view, rather than simply recruiting psychologists, it may be helpful to complement existing numbers of psychologists with social workers and other allied health workers in school counselling roles to build a multidisciplinary team approach and to meet recommended ratios.

This is an important nuance that the expert panel put in their report. As I meet with key stakeholders in the education sector over the coming weeks, I intend to discuss that very issue. Is it purely psychologists or how do we look at that multidisciplinary approach in terms of reaching the ratio recommended in the expert panel report? I will be taking a very clear approach of seeking that input from key stakeholders in the coming weeks.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what changes in direction have you implemented since you took over the education portfolio?

MR RATTENBURY: I think it is always wise not to be too presumptuous. I have taken an approach at the moment whereby the only thing I have presumed to do is to book as many meetings as possible with key stakeholders in the education sector and get out to as many schools as possible in the time that I have been able to. An important way to go about settling into the portfolio is to engage with experts in the field, to do a lot of reading and to start talking to people. To be honest, two weeks into the portfolio, I have not been presumptuous enough to suggest major changes in direction at this time.

Ministers—code of conduct

MRS JONES: My question is to the Deputy Chief Minister. Minister, have you ever been asked by the CFMEU to act contrary to the ministerial code of conduct?

MR CORBELL: Madam Speaker, I am not clear under which of my portfolio responsibilities Mrs Jones is asking but I am very happy to advise her—


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