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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 October 2010) . . Page.. 5029 ..

MR DOSZPOT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I find the minister’s—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot!

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, where does support for disability rank amongst the areas targeted for efficiency dividend cuts?

MR BARR: Incorporating improved services to schools, assisting students with a disability, is an important part of the central office role within the Department of Education and Training. It is also important that a range of other services are delivered by central office. There is not a ranking, and I will not be playing “rule in or rule out” or ranking games with the opposition. The department has to ensure that within its available resources, which were increased by nearly $60 million in the last budget, it delivers on all of its output classes and all of its performance requirements.

The department will make the decisions given the available resources it has, which were increased in the last budget, with a particular emphasis on literacy and numeracy outcomes and additional support in a variety of areas that I outlined to members this morning. It is important that the department delivers for all students. I am not in the business of ranking one area of central office’s performance or responsibilities over another. If the opposition were mature, which they clearly are not, they would recognise the diversity of tasks that the Department of Education and Training is required to perform for the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: We can have the usual array of catcalling and all of that from those opposite, but nothing detracts from the fact that when it came to actually voting for a budget at all for the Department of Education and Training those opposite said they wanted no resources at all allocated to education and training in the territory. That is their voting record for two budgets in a row.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Smyth has a supplementary.

MR SMYTH: Minister, when will the details of the changed funding arrangements be provided and how will DET staff in the schools community be advised of the changes?

MR BARR: That information has been on the department’s website for a number of days.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what studies have been carried out and what evidence can be provided to justify decisions on the recent cuts?

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