Page 1708 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

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MR STEEL: I have just mentioned that we are providing all households with free household collection for garden waste.

Mrs Kikkert interjecting—

MR STEEL: That is literally collected from the front of their houses every single fortnight, and we are looking to extend that, through food organic collections, because that is what Labor committed to at the last election. It is something that the member fought against every step of the way.

Mrs Kikkert interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Kikkert, your colleague has the floor.

MR CAIN: Minister, can you explain why, in an answer to a question on notice, you said that the government had not consulted operators about possible relocation options, when in fact the operators had been consulting with ACT NOWaste for close to three years?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for his question. As I have mentioned, we are undertaking a review at the moment. That review has not been completed.


MS ORR: My question is to the minister for education. Minister, how is the ACT government leveraging the expertise of the tertiary sector to inform decision-making in the education portfolio?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Orr for her question, and note that Gungahlin is one of the highest population growth areas in the country. Of course, meeting the needs of that growing community through our public school builds has been a priority for this government. As our population grows and our school enrolments are growing even higher, we need to make sure that we provide those school facilities in a timely way.

We are also seeing more families choosing public education, which shows that Canberrans have great trust in our public schools. The ACT government works with the ANU School of Demography to incorporate their demographic research into our enrolment forecasting. These are not matters that are just decided on each year after the enrolments are made. Careful work is done using the expertise within the ANU School of Demography to ensure that we can meet the needs of our populations in our growing school communities.

The forecasts are continually updated with new information as that arises, and consider a range of factors, including demographic changes such as suburbs’ age, birth rates and new developments. Using this information, the government looks ahead and plans for additional school infrastructure where it is needed. The planning can be seen in the 2019 infrastructure plan, which outlines a pipeline of education projects, new schools, expansions of existing schools and school improvements.

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