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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 646..

MS PORTER (continuing):

committee recommends that the department clearly indicate within annual reports the expenditure related to central administration and expenditure related to achieving educational outcomes in school settings.

Following up on the recommendations by the committee about the contribution by volunteers to education in the ACT in relation to the report for the previous financial year, the committee welcomed the commitment of the department to include more details in future reports of that contribution to school communities. The committee is aware that this contribution is substantial and therefore needs recognition.

The committee also recognised that this task is not an easy one and that it may be complicated by the different ways schools, in particular, currently record numbers of volunteers and their hours. However, the committee recommends that comprehensive data relating to the contribution of volunteers to the effective operations of schools be captured and included in annual reports in the future. It encourages the department to ensure that such key outcomes, which will be of interest to the general community as well as the department, the minister and this committee, be clearly located via the index of annual reports.

The committee noted that the report provided reflected the activities of the Canberra Institute of Technology across the calendar year, reflecting the institute's main concern with the academic year rather than the usual financial year time frame for annual reports. The committee was particularly concerned to ensure that occupational health and safety targets for CIT students become a reporting priority for the institute. Safety awareness was considered by the committee to be an essential indicator of work readiness for apprentices and trainees. Therefore, strategies undertaken by the institute to ensure this outcome should be noted in the report.

The committee congratulates the CIT on establishing and reporting on safety targets set for employees and it believes comparable strategies need to be established for student users of the CIT services as they are equally important indicators of performance in yearly reports. Therefore, the committee recommends that all occupational health and safety measures established and achieved, together with the numbers and types of adverse incidents experienced by both staff and students, be reported annually.

I thank my fellow committee members, Mrs Dunne and Mr Gentleman, for their diligent work on the committee. I also thank all witnesses for their time appearing before us. I would also like, obviously, to thank Mr Derek Abbott and Dr Sandra Lilburn for their work on the conduct of the hearing and the preparation of the report. Sandra joined us earlier this year, so this has truly been a joint effort. Members are probably aware that Dr Lilburn is the latest in a long line of secretaries to the standing committee on education. Ms Linzi Lamont, also from the secretariat office, assisted with the process. We are glad to see Linzi is back on her feet after her recent accident and back with us here in the secretariat.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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