Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3340 ..
is about 50 per cent complete. The SLA are confident they can take the work that has been done to date and build upon it. So it is not the case that everything that has occurred to date is set aside; it will be built upon, but there are some issues that need to be resolved, particularly to the satisfaction of heritage, national capital design review panels, arts organisations and the community. Unfortunately, there was not sufficient progress on those issues under the previous delivery arrangements, so the SLA has stepped forward to resolve those issues and to progress the project. The delay is likely to be 18 to 24 months in terms of the final completion of the project.
MS LAWDER: Where is this government’s transparency and accountability when community groups were informed of the cancellation of the contract less than a week after estimates, where this was discussed, and then it was in the press a week after the estimates hearing where many questions were raised about the Kingston arts precinct?
MR BARR: I outlined there were commercial sensitivities associated with the ending of the partnership with Geocon. Arts groups were advised before the media in relation to the changed delivery process. Overwhelmingly they have commented quite positively that this would see a way through to address the issues that had arisen during, particularly, the last 18 months.
Whilst Ms Lawder may seek to score a political point, which she is wont to do, we are focused on delivering a better project for all, and we believe we can do so as a result of the changes that we have put in place.
MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Education. Minister, your election platform from last year—and I am quoting your promise—was to deliver 400 teachers. Leaving aside the smokescreens you have used during estimates, when will there be 400 new teachers in classrooms in ACT government schools?
MS BERRY: There are no smokescreens. Schools are being built in the ACT—one school every year. There was a time when only one public school was built every four years, but, because of population growth ,we are now building one public school every year. As public schools are built, the budget provides for making sure that those schools have the teaching and other staff to work in those schools. You have to have the school built before you put the teachers in it.
Mr Hanson: I have a point of order on relevance. When will the new teachers be deployed into those ACT government schools? Will the minister give us a date?
MADAM SPEAKER: I think the minister has concluded the answer.
MR MILLIGAN: Minister, how many new registered teachers will be appointed and deployed into ACT government schools this year?
MS BERRY: There will be around 90 schoolteachers and school staff engaged this year.