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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4793..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

I will briefly indicate some of the improvements made to this legislation. The functions of the government and non-government schools education councils have been enhanced by requiring, in addition to the general advisory and inquiry powers, the councils' formal input to the development of budget priorities and strategic direction. The operations of the councils have been made more open by requiring that formal advice to the minister be tabled in this Assembly.

The new bill incorporates upgraded accountability and information requirements applying to both government and non-government schools. These include, as well as a legislated requirement for schools to inform parents about their child's progress at school, that each school keep parents fully informed about the school's educational program and its general operation. Both government and non-government schools will be required to develop processes to allow parent participation in the school.

New requirements are imposed on the chief executive to monitor and report on the performance of the government school system as a whole, as well as on individual schools. Both government and non-government schools are required to establish a process for investigating complaints.

We have also responded to the recommendations of the Connors inquiry into education funding in the ACT and have introduced a fair and open process for the consideration of proposals for new non-government schools. New proposals will be considered in the context of a static population of school-age children in the ACT and with regard to the substantial public and private investment in existing schools.

In response to submissions from home educators, we have reshaped the provisions on the registration of home education. The new bill provides a basis for cooperation with home educating families in the registration process towards the common objective of providing high-quality education for all children. I commend the bill to members for their consideration.

Debate (on motion by Mr Pratt ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Executive business-precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Totalcare-disposal of undertakings

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (11.07): I move:

That, in accordance with section 16 (4) of the Territory Owned Corporations Act 1990, this Assembly approves the disposal of all of the undertakings (including its assets, rights and liabilities) of Totalcare Industries Limited to the Territory.

Mr Speaker, this is a matter of machinery. I think that the Assembly is aware of what is being done with Totalcare. We have given notice of our intention to wind it down through a phased process and transfer various business activities back to ACT government departments. The Territory Owned Corporations Act prohibits the disposal


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