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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 November 2020) . . Page.. 6 ..


wave, of the pandemic. We will ensure that our teachers remain the best paid in the country. And we will employ 400 new teachers and support staff, and new teacher librarians, to support the great work in our education system.

We believe every public school should be a great school. That is why we will continue our nation-leading investment in digital learning, by expanding our Chromebook rollout to every public high school and college student, and providing 300 of the most vulnerable households in Canberra with free internet access. We will also establish a future of education equity fund to support disadvantaged families with their educational expenses.

We are committed to investing in school infrastructure to serve our city’s growing population, upgrading existing schools, and building new, zero-emissions schools in the Molonglo Valley, west Belconnen and Gungahlin.

Madam Speaker, the ACT has led the nation with our response to climate change. We are the first jurisdiction in Australia to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity, which is driving down energy bills. We will further cement Canberra’s status as the renewable energy capital of Australia by building the biggest renewable battery storage system in the country.

We will continue to reduce emissions without placing financial pressure on households. The parliamentary and governing agreement signed yesterday between ACT Labor and the ACT Greens further entrenches the government’s commitment to climate action, taking the next essential steps to a net zero emissions future for the ACT.

Madam Speaker, I am proud that Canberra is Australia’s most inclusive city. We are a refugee welcome zone. We are also part of the global Welcoming Cities network, formally acknowledging this city as one that continues to welcome migrant and multicultural communities. There has been a lot of hard work and reform to ensure that Canberra continues to be the most LGBTIQ+ welcoming city in the country, including the development of the Capital of Equality strategy and the accompanying action plan.

The government is committed to ensuring that Canberra remains an inclusive and welcoming place to live. An important priority in this parliamentary term is the modernisation of the territory’s Discrimination Act. We look forward to getting this work underway. And we are committed to understanding and responding to the needs of everyone in the community as we face the impacts of COVID-19 together.

Madam Speaker, I want to take this moment to congratulate the Greens party on their strong result in the October election and formally welcome five new members. Clearly, the strong support for progressive parties in the election reflects the community’s desire for progressive leadership at this time.

I look forward to working with the Greens party to deliver the parliamentary and governing agreement that we signed yesterday, which reflects our shared progressive values and our shared commitment to continuing improvements to health, education,


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