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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3759 ..

I can still remember having conversations with my old man when I was younger, having been born and raised in Canberra. His ambition for me, and for my brothers and sisters, was always to get one of those good public service jobs with that good public service super and that reliability and security.

Madam Speaker, it might interest you to know that I took my dad’s advice and got a public service job. On reflection, he might have wished that he was a little bit more specific. My younger brother, in fact, is a proud graduate of CIT, holding a CIT trade certificate. The reason I tell this story, Madam Speaker, is that, historically, I know that my dad would have given me the advice to get a good public service job on the basis that you will get better pay and working conditions. But for all that is said about the pay and working conditions of politicians, pay cheque to pay cheque my brother rivals me, and his hands are much dirtier at the end of the day. And let me tell you, as the most narrowly elected member of this place, his job is much more secure.

On that basis, I would very much like to encourage Canberra’s young people to engage with CIT over the next 12 to 18 months, particularly as we reflect on our employment and reflect on our role in the economy, and as we reflect on COVID. I know that many people in my community have taken the opportunity that COVID has presented over the last 12 months during lockdown to reflect on their jobs, on the way that they contribute to their community and to their society. I have been encouraged to know that at least a few of my constituents that I have spoken to as recently as last week at my electorate office have recently enrolled in aged-care qualifications at CIT, on the basis that conducting care-based responsibilities at home in an unpaid manner during the COVID lockdown inspired them to take the opportunity to monetise that work and find a long-term, sustainable job in that industry.

In short, upon reading all of the budget papers for this particular output class, while I am known to be critical on some occasions of things I do not like, there is very little to not like in the CIT proposal in this budget. I am excited to see that there are more courses being offered to more students.

The minister will know that I will not miss an opportunity to speak about the CIT without reaffirming the ACT Greens’ commitment to the Australian Education Union at the last election—the only political party represented in this place to sign the pledge and commit to the union all of their election asks. The one thing where there is still a differentiation between our governing parties is on the importance of a CIT staff representative on the board. That is an issue on which I will continue to advocate over the coming year.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (5.27): I am very pleased to be able to speak briefly on the investment that our government is making—the record $126.3 million investment that we are making in vocational education and training, and particularly through the Canberra Institute of Technology, through this year’s budget.

We believe in opportunity through education, whether it is early childhood, school, TAFE or university. One of the ways we can ensure that all Canberrans have the

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