Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3230 ..
Actew Corporation is a vitally important part of the fabric of the ACT. Its work in securing our energy and water security and maintaining the sanitation of the city is vital. But I think that our experiences over the last couple of years in relation to the spiralling costs of the major water projects have somewhat diminished the confidence the people of the ACT have in the corporation. There has been significant damage to the brand through the saga of mismanagement and underestimation of costs. I hope that in the future Actew can regain its reputation with the people of the ACT.
Proposed expenditure agreed to.
Proposed expenditure—Part 1.22—Canberra Institute of Technology—$67,336,000 (net cost of outputs) and $15,445,000 (capital injection), totalling $82,781,000.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (12:33 am): The ACT Greens are pleased to see among the priorities the priority work being undertaken in Gungahlin to promote and provide a range of locally based CIT training courses. We understand that this will be available from 2011. The feasibility study into a new CIT learning centre at Tuggeranong seems to complement this and it is a positive step. We are keen to see the results of both these initiatives, particularly the Tuggeranong study, as there is a fairly significant amount of $250,000 devoted to what we were told in estimates would be a six-month project.
A proposed use of more e-learning with a view to having this as a core teaching strategy and expanding online services to clients are steps in the right direction. There is certainly much to do around the continued rollout of the productivity places program. Commonwealth funding of $20 million has been allocated across the country. We are yet to learn of the ACT’s share of the $20 million provided for this. It is reasonable to expect though that our share can make a real difference and provide an opportunity not only to reduce the skill shortages but also to develop the new skills needed now and into the future.
Combined with the youth attainment and transitions agreement, which incorporates the earn-or-learn approach to keep young people in education, training or employment until 17 years of age, these are ambitious priorities which will need to be well managed by CIT if the objectives and targets set are to be reached.
I note from estimates answers that there are attainment targets of 94.3 per cent for 2012 and 95 per cent by 2015 for young people aged 20 to 24 to obtain a year 12 certificate or a certificate II. In the same response, however, the attainment target for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is 80.2 per cent by 2020. These figures show that a significant number of these students are missing out on a good level of education and will be for some considerable time unless action is taken.
The government has released a discussion paper titled Creating a connected ACT tertiary education environment in which it is seeking feedback on how ACT tertiary education providers can meet the COAG targets. Industry has professional needs for innovation and growth and how tertiary education pathways can be strengthened. We look forward to seeing the results of this exercise and being given the opportunity to provide input to any proposed improvements.