Page 5759 - Week 18 - Tuesday, 10 December 1991

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MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I would have to go away and add them up - and I am quite prepared to do that - because we would have to work out, from the new policy proposals that I spoke of earlier, how many people had actually been put into employment or training as a result of those initiatives. Also, of course, we would have to look at the effect that the capital works budget had had on ACT employment. As I say, I am willing to do those sums for Mr Kaine and I will present him with the results as soon as I am able to.

Gifted and Talented Children's Programs

MRS NOLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to Mr Wood in his capacity as Minister for Education. I refer the Minister to programs in ACT schools for gifted and talented children. I ask the Minister: What is in place in relation to gifted and talented children? Also, as a result of budget constraints, have any positions been cut in relation to the special needs of those children?

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, I would maintain that all schools maintain programs for gifted and talented children. It is the aim in schools to extend every child, to see that they work to the limit of their capacity. That is the broad aim of all our schools. Certainly, when I was teaching in those schools that was my task, and that is, I believe, the task of all teachers in the ACT.

Some schools set out to give specific emphasis to programs for talented and gifted children. Lyneham High School is one example of that. Other high schools also give particular feature to such programs. There is a little concern, from time to time, that they should not unduly emphasise elitism; but we accept that they can give that particular focus to students in need, in terms of their intellectual capacities. The Lyneham High School program and at least one that operates in Tuggeranong Valley do that well.

I am not aware of any changes as a result of staffing changes or budget cuts. I am not aware whether there is any advisory mechanism that operates. It is my understanding that the budget cuts were removed from classrooms. If you have any particular information, you could apprise me of it and I will have a look at it.

Government Letters and Fridge Calendars

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to the Chief Minister. I refer to the letter sent by the Chief Minister to North Canberra residents advising them of the opening of the Ainslie Transfer Station, which cost the taxpayer $1,340. I refer also to fridge calendars

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