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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6073 ..

as such we will support this bill. I understand that Ms Hunter will be putting her amendments in a few minutes, and I will respond further after Ms Hunter has spoken to her amendments.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (11.46): The Greens will be supporting this bill. We agree that teaching is a profession that should be regulated in this way and that the teacher quality institute is an appropriate body to fulfil this purpose.

This reform is part of the national reform agenda and we are pleased that the ACT has now adopted these reforms. The ACT is the only jurisdiction without a system of teacher registration. As I understand it, we currently depend on New South Wales for this service, and it is appropriate that we have our own system for teacher registration.

Our delay in adopting the registration scheme being proposed does have the advantage of allowing us to see how similar schemes have worked in other jurisdictions and the benefits and pitfalls. I would very much hope that we will have picked up the best parts of the schemes in other states and that that will prove itself over time.

I understand that all the relevant stakeholders, particularly the ACT branch of the AEU, are very supportive of the proposed changes. My office has been in contact with Penny Gilmour in the last couple of days; she said that it was a good consultative process, that stakeholders were very much included and that the AEU is a great supporter of this move forward in establishing a teacher quality institute.

It is appropriate that the institute be given the responsibility of setting standards for the teaching profession and for regulating and monitoring adherence to these standards. This is a positive step forward and has the potential to help improve the profession and lead to improved teaching outcomes.

The Greens agree with and support initiatives to promote the status of the teaching profession and to provide a better way of remunerating teachers for their efforts. Teachers deliver an enormous service to this community. They are one of the very few professions that every single person in our community has had contact with. Not only that: at the time we come in contact with teachers, quite often we are vulnerable, impressionable and very dependent on the services they provide. That, of course, is because we are the children and the students in those schools.

I am sure—there is no doubt—that a good education provides a very invaluable start in life. We know that the opportunity for a good education can lead to a great pathway to some enormous benefits for anybody who is able to have that positive impact on their lives.

Teaching is a profession that needs some reform. We agree that, like all other professions, there should be a more appropriate recognition of the individual capabilities of each teacher. It is appropriate that we elevate and regulate the profession in a similar way to the way we regulate other professions such as lawyers, doctors and engineers.

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