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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2252 ..


We know that, like all other jurisdictions around the country, our schools are struggling to recruit and retain teachers due to unacceptably large workloads and the relatively low pay for the high level of responsibility they hold every day. We know that young people’s mental health needs can be very demanding and that schools play a central role in ensuring that each student and their families can be supported to ensure their safety and improve their wellbeing.

I am pleased to hear an update on these issues, and I am particularly happy to hear that the minister has been engaging in conversations with her counterparts about NAPLAN and what can be done to better analyse this data.

My amendments to Mr Hanson’s motion in June came about after discussions with the ACT P&C association and the Australian Education Union, who expressed to me their desire to see the government prioritise implementing the well-thought-through and evidenced recommendations from previous inquiries and the government’s own future of education strategy.

It should be noted that the intention of my amendments to Mr Hanson’s motion was to receive a more detailed examination from the minister of the directorate’s progress on the recommendations and the status of the future of education strategy. I am slightly disappointed to have been directed to the annual reports from last year, noting that a full year has passed, during which no doubt significant work has been done in our schools. This statement was the opportunity to present the Assembly with that timely update.

The government has a bold vision for our education system, which is why the government has committed to a number of actions in the parliamentary and governing agreement, including rolling out three-year-old preschool for all, investing in new schools and infrastructure, and ensuring our classrooms and learning spaces are climate adaptable. I look forward to working from the crossbench to ensure that these commitments are implemented in an effective and timely manner.

I am proud to be a member of a party and a government that supports all students, inclusive of their backgrounds and experience, to access a world-class education through our public schools.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

ACT Emergency Services Agency—cross-border arrangements

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.20): In response to recommendation 12 of report 1 of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety on annual and financial reports for 2019-20, the Appropriation Bill 2020-2021 and Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2020-2021, the government agreed to provide a ministerial statement outlining


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