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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2008) . . Page.. 2877 ..

part of the steering committee to help stage the annual school performing and visual arts show Step into the limelight. I am sure that we will see the west Belconnen regional school well represented in this event in future.

The west Belconnen regional school is evidence of modern thinking when it comes to delivering good student outcomes. It is a mix of what will be great facilities, great leadership and staff and the ACT’s challenging curriculum framework called “every chance to learn”. It is also evidence that the Stanhope Labor government has done the hard policy work, that it has sought the advice of the community and experts and that we are serious about providing quality education, not just getting a headline.

It is generally recognised how important early childhood development is in setting the foundation for learning, behaviour and health through school years and into adult life. Investing in early intervention and high-quality education in the early years has a lasting effect on a child’s social, emotional and intellectual development. That is why, as I said earlier, the Stanhope government has made significant investments to reduce class sizes in the early years.

Recently I visited the Southern Cross primary school in Belconnen along with the minister. I learnt about the very pleasing early enrolment figures for the early childhood school for 2009. There is no doubt in my mind that this, along with other early childhood schools, will be a great success. Again, it is about more than just class sizes. Our four new early childhood schools will integrate education, health and family support services as yet another way of ensuring the healthy development and effective education of young children in the ACT.

The ACT government is committed to improving educational outcomes through quality teaching staff, equipping teachers with relevant skills and supporting their ongoing professional development.

In concluding, I must say that we all know what this MPI is all about. It is not about the importance of smaller classes; it is not about class sizes. It is about the need to get headlines. It is certainly not about improving education. It is about the ACT Liberals, having been caught out not costing their election policy properly, now trying to talk it and themselves up. While the Liberals play politics on class sizes and in the area of education, I am very proud to be part of a responsible Labor government which is investing record amounts in the education of young Canberrans and getting the nation’s leading results, rather than being part of an opposition whose shadow spokesperson on education has been able to raise only two constituency matters about education in the past 3¾ years.

MR SPEAKER: The time for this discussion has concluded.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2008

Debate resumed from 26 June 2008, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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