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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 8 Hansard (9 August) . .

Page.. 2543..


the ACT local, including Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Yass, obviously made up 90 per cent of the patrons. But 10 per cent coming from the region further away is certainly not to be sneezed at in any way and is something that I think we can continue to develop, with people coming from throughout our region to enjoy the facilities that are provided.

I am pretty pleased with the progress of the Cultural Facilities Corporation. I look forward to hearing more about the potential new vibrant theatre complex that was recently talked about in the Canberra Times. I know that the Cultural Facilities Corporation is doing some work at present on researching and quantifying the need and demand for a new theatre and looking at the bigger shows that currently are not coming to Canberra because they cannot get enough people into the facility to make it economically viable. For future benefits to our economy I think it is something that is well worth looking at and I look forward to further work in that area.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Education Directorate—Schedule 1, Part 1.8

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (8.21): Education has a budget of over $1 billion and it employs over 5,000 people, with over 3,300 in our teacher workforce. It is responsible for educating nearly 45,000 students in 87 public schools, including four special schools.

In the latest budget it is suggested that an additional $55 million will be invested in new education initiatives, including $41 million for improved facilities and administration for schools across the ACT. The government has also made much of its $21 million to address the recommendations contained in Professor Shaddock's Schools for all report. Of course, it is hardly a response for all schools when the 40 per cent of students who are educated in our non-government schools are overlooked.

There is a planned $1.2 million to roll out quality assurance programs, $250,000 to have yet another go at an enrolment planning tool, and over $1 million in transport for special needs students.

Of course, after you have been through a couple of education budgets and matched them up with election promises, they start to become one of the best examples of recycling that this government does.

We have had an improved Belconnen High School on the list for one election campaign and at least three budgets, and it has still not been completed. We have had Mount Stromlo high on the list for a new roof for two budgets. Claims of "better schools for Gungahlin" are, frankly, code for, "We massively underestimated what was needed in this area and our schools are seriously over capacity."

This year's education spend is obviously targeted at an election, with something for every electorate. I am not suggesting that money spent on any school is not money


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