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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3163 ..


in the human services, aged care, children’s services and project management sectors. Investing in training and delivering jobs.

We are also supporting our students with disabilities with further investments in their education. The number of students with special needs attending ACT public schools continues to increase. The complexity of student needs has also increased. In response to this growth in demand, the government’s investment in special education in public schools has increased from about $44.6 million in 2004-05 to an estimated $52.5 million in this year’s budget.

The budget will provide an additional $1.6 million over the next four years to support students with a disability in ACT public schools. This complements our investment last year to support students in non-government schools with a disability. This funding will also support the implementation of the department’s disability education strategy that is being developed as a result of the Shaddock review. Investing in and delivering the needs of ACT students with a disability.

Ms Hunter alluded to the fact that the budget will provide $300,000 over four years to further support the development of swimming and water survival skills for ACT primary school students. The initiative further develops and implements a plan to increase participation in the current Department of Education and Training swimming and water safety program. This investment will focus on schools who are servicing our most disadvantaged communities and a number of our introductory English centres which are in these schools.

It will be linked to the school’s equity fund and the student support fund and will seek to increase student participation in swimming and survival skills. We will continue to work closely with the Royal Life Saving Society to implement this initiative. I would like to take this opportunity to again thank Ms Hunter and her office for working so collaboratively with the government on this important initiative. This is another commitment in the parliamentary agreement which has been fulfilled.

The 2010-11 budget provides $1.25 million over the next three years for the car parks and traffic safety program. This initiative will provide funding for a number of schools to address student safety in school set-down and pick-up areas and in car parks. It will reduce the risk of accidents for children, parents and teachers.

In conclusion, last year I spoke about teacher quality, better classrooms and smaller class sizes. We have delivered on those commitments. This year we are investing in schools where they are needed most, investing in teacher quality and new approaches to school-based management, investing in training, and investing in supporting students with a disability. We are keeping students safer with the car park and traffic safety program and swim survival skills. I am sure these investments will deliver outstanding results for the ACT, improvements in literacy and numeracy, high quality teachers, and innovative and exceptional schools.

Last year the Canberra Liberals voted against funding measures for education. I had hoped this year would be different and that all members of this place would vote in favour of these investments and, by doing so, show their support for new schools where they are needed most, for teacher quality and for new approaches to


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