Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 8 Hansard (14 August) . . Page.. 2853 ..
I note that stage 2 Gundaroo Drive has begun. A significant amount of planning work for stage 2 was part of the stage 1 works, particularly regarding the relocation of utilities. As far as I am aware, there are no issues with Gundaroo Drive stage 2. Many lessons have been learnt and much significant work was done in the stage 1 project to prepare for stage 2. I will be making sure that all efforts are being put into the completion of stage 1 as soon as possible.
MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. Minister, how is the 2018 budget supporting high quality school education for ACT children?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Steel for his question. The 2018 budget continues the government's delivery of our election platform in education. Education is a key priority for the government and an area where the government consistently makes a large investment through our budgets. Some $5 billion over four years has been allocated to support the ACT's education system. The ACT government directly provides education to close to 48,000 students studying in ACT public schools from preschool to college who are supported on their learning journey by over 5,000 public school teachers and support staff.
The 2018 budget will deliver new and expanded schools for our growing suburbs and recruit more teachers to bolster our world-class education system. The budget invests in delivering priority outcomes from the future of education community conversation to improve teaching and learning in every local school and see that our kids reach their potential. It provides funding for continued work on the ACT early childhood strategy, which will aim to set up every child for success.
More school psychologists are provided to support better mental health and wellbeing among students. The government's election commitment of 20 additional psychologists is now fully funded. There is also $31.1 million for teachers and support staff to deliver schooling to more than 1,000 additional students as our school population grows. This is equivalent to 66 full-time learning professionals and support staff. This budget shows the ACT government's commitment to a world-class education system for our future generations.
MR STEEL: Minister, what school infrastructure investment is included in the 2018 budget?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Steel for the supplementary. The 2018 budget will deliver new and expanded schools for Canberra's growing suburbs. Forty seven million dollars has been allocated to construct a new P-6 school in Molonglo, and planning will begin for a year 7 to 10 campus so that families in this community can have confidence that high-quality public education in modern learning facilities will be available. The school will be ready to accept students from the start of the 2021 year, with places for 600 students from kindergarten to year 6, and 44 places for preschool children.