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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2653..


Housing Trust - Rent and Mortgage Payments

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to Mr Stefaniak, this time in his capacity as Minister for Housing. Minister, can you confirm that Housing Trust tenants and purchasers can no longer have their rent or mortgage repayments withdrawn from their pay?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my understanding - I would like to know Ms McRae's source - was that deductions of rent were very much encouraged by the Housing Trust. It is a very convenient way for Housing Trust tenants to budget, and accordingly there are signs up in all the Housing Trust offices. If something has happened in relation to that, Ms McRae, which I am unaware of, I would be very keen to take action.

MS McRAE: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, could you take my question on notice. Who has changed the procedures that had been in place, who advised of this change and, in the light of your answer, why has it happened without your approval?

MR STEFANIAK: I will certainly take that on notice, Mr Speaker, because, as I said before, deductions from pay are something that the Housing Trust has been very keen to make. If anything has happened to change that, I would certainly be most concerned, Ms McRae.

Education Funding - Teacher Positions

MR OSBORNE: My question is addressed to Mr Stefaniak in his role as Minister for Education. Mr Stefaniak, is it true that there are over 90 teachers in the central office of the Education Department? If so, is it also true that the central office of your department, including Youth Services, has over 500 officers in total, with about a dozen officers dedicated to publications and media relations in education alone?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Osborne, in relation to the 90 teachers, I refer you to my answer to Mr Moore. In relation to your other figures, I will get an exact figure for you.

MR OSBORNE: I ask a supplementary question. Mr Stefaniak, do you think this is a responsible attitude, considering your intention to cut 30 teachers from colleges?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Osborne, I said that I would get back to you on the exact figures. I do not think the number of staff in central office, be they in youth and children's services or education, really has anything to do with what occurs in colleges or schools, except that, as I indicated earlier, a number of staff who have finished projects in central office will be going back to the schools.


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