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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1840..


MR BARR (continuing):

having a vision for the future. We have not heard a thing from the opposition about what is their vision for public education. They would like to see the system crumble to being just a safety net. They are about undermining public education to the point that it becomes nothing but a safety net system. We will not accept that. We have a plan for the future. You have nothing, absolutely nothing. You sit there smugly because you have not had the guts to undertake the sorts of reforms that have been necessary. We are doing it. We are prepared to make the hard decisions.

Mrs Dunne: This is not reform; it is a gutting.

MR BARR: Mrs Dunne, you have said privately to me in this place that you support the direction of this package because you understand that the reform is needed.

MR SPEAKER: Direct your comments through the chair, please, Mr Barr.

MR BARR: You understand that the reform is needed.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister's time has expired.

MRS DUNNE: I have a supplementary question. Minister, in relation to the rationalisation program that you announced yesterday, will you take steps to preserve particular well-accepted programs such as autism units and the gifted and talented programs in schools which are facing closure or amalgamation and the bilingual programs offered at Telopea and Lyons?

MR BARR: The answer is yes, we certainly will. Any programs that are operating in schools that would close, we will move them and transition them into schools that will continue into the future. In fact, part of this proposal is to build on some of those programs. I think that one of the key factors in strengthening public education will be to strengthen the gifted and talented programs that operate across the territory. In relation to a particular question that I know Mrs Dunne has an interest in at Lyons, yes, I am absolutely committed to the continuation of that program.

Mr Pratt: Will you pick up the talent and move it, too? Will you transfer the talent as well?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I warn you.

MR BARR: Yes, all of those programs. Many of the innovative ideas that have come forward from across the system need further strength and support, and that is what this government will be doing.

Community sector task force

DR FOSKEY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Disability and Community Services and concerns the community sector task force. Minister, earlier this year the community sector task force delivered to you a report with key recommendations relating to industrial relations, work force development and funding issues. The minister would be aware that the community sector has an annual turnover rate of over 30 per cent, yet the presentation of the budget papers yesterday indicated no


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