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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (26 October) . . Page.. 2101 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

Unfortunately, the report identifies that the ACT has not yet developed the competitive tendering and contracting guidelines and is behind most other States in identifying competitive tendering and contracting out opportunities. The reason for this lamentable state is the inherent conservatism - and I emphasise that - of the previous Labor Government and its uncompromising ideological opposition to competition of any variety. This Government has, however, been proactive in remedying the situation. It is especially pleasing to note that the guidelines recommended by the commission are being implemented by the Government, such as opening up the delivery of government services to competition. Asset management, vehicle maintenance and information systems are the subject of competitive tendering, and the benefits will flow through to the citizens of Canberra.

There is more work to be done to bring the ACT up to best practice. We will continue to implement reforms that will bring the Territory up to best practice. We have chosen to make the hard decisions, and will continue to do so where it is appropriate. It is a shame that we find ourselves 10 years behind other governments. This Government will be preparing a comprehensive response to the draft report that maps a strategy for us to introduce competitive tendering and contracting where appropriate across the whole of the ACT Government. We will be doing this not because of ideology but because it makes good sense.

High Schools - Disabled Students

MR MOORE: My question is to Mr Stefaniak as Minister for Education. I did give him about half an hour's notice that I would be asking a question of this nature. There is a student who is currently enrolled in Charnwood High School and who is in a wheelchair. Will you guarantee, Minister, that this student - - -

Ms Follett: It is a bit late now, Michael.

Mr Berry: You are too late. You can backflip all you like. You have closed it.

MR MOORE: I hear interjections that it is too late. We are talking about access and equity, which every student is entitled to and should be entitled to at any school. That is what I am talking about. Minister, considering the issues of access and equity, will you guarantee that this student, if he or she enrols at Ginninderra High School, will have access throughout that school?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Moore for the question. Yes, the Government was aware that one student at Charnwood High School, if a certain course were taken by the board, which it appears to have been, would need consideration. I can assure Mr Moore that the Government will support any physical changes that may be required to provide wheelchair access to Ginninderra High School, as it turns out, for that particular student and, indeed, anyone else with disabilities.

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