Page 246 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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state and territory government recurrent expenditure per FTE student”, it shows that for ACT government school students the commonwealth government’s real recurrent expenditure per FTE student increased by 42.2 per cent from 2010-11 to 2019-20. In the same period, ACT government expenditure decreased by 3.3 per cent and New South Wales state expenditure increased by over $3,000 per student. Minister, over the decade, why has commonwealth government expenditure increased by 42.2 per cent and ACT government expenditure decreased by 3.3 per cent per FTE student?

MS BERRY: ACT public schools are funded on a needs-based basis, as per the Gonski recommendations.

MR HANSON: Minister, how much has this decrease in funding from your government for ACT government school students contributed to the current teacher shortage?

MS BERRY: Can I provide the member of the opposition with some information? Yesterday he asked me how many teachers were absent from school at the start of the year or how many positions were not filled. There was one permanent full-time position that was not able to be filled before the start of the school year. One. The ACT government funds its schools on a needs-based application, as per the Gonski needs-based method, and that is what we will continue to do.

MR CAIN: Minister, why have we decreased real funding when New South Wales has increased it by $3,000 per student?

MS BERRY: I am not sure what the comparison is that is being made here. I might have to go and have a look at these questions to understand where the opposition are going here; it is not clear to me. The ACT government provides the highest pay in the country for its teachers. We are the only state or territory that has set up a specific task force, working closely with the Education Union, on addressing issues around a teacher shortage here in the ACT—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS BERRY: but we are not immune to the Australian issue.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, that is enough!

MS BERRY: I do not quite understand the comparisons that are being made here, or even if they make any sense.

Child care—costs

MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Early Childhood Development and Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Minister, according to the latest ROGS report, childcare costs in the ACT continue to be the highest in the country. The median cost is $610 a week, or $67 a week above the national average.

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