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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2355 ..

Schools - Maintenance Costs

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to Mr Osborne. Mr Speaker, I have misread my writing. It is actually directed to Mr Stefaniak, as Minister for Education.

MR SPEAKER: You have a literacy problem, do you?

MR MOORE: An eye problem, Mr Speaker. I am confused when I look across and see the two of them. It is to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak. I am sure the Minister is aware that the provision of maintenance for schools in the ACT Education Department has been on the basis of emergency only for quite some time. Can the Minister now reassure this Assembly that the increased maintenance costs for schools will be provided before there is any decision about school-based management or any school-based management policy? Will this be allowed for in terms of the funding?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Moore, I think there is a certain amount of money in the budget for maintenance this financial year.

Mr Moore: Yes, emergency only.

MR STEFANIAK: You are asking for more money, are you?

Mr Moore: Before you go for school-based management are you going to make sure there is enough money?

MR STEFANIAK: There are a number of things to look at in relation to school-based management, Mr Speaker, and that is something that is currently out there with the community. A paper is out before the community. Some schools are keen to do it next year; other schools want to wait until 1997. A number of issues need to be looked at, including that one. I will not give you an answer on that immediately, Mr Moore, because I think there are a number of things to be looked at in terms of the whole question of school-based management.

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. That is the whole point of the question, Minister. If there is inadequate funding now and then you flick it across to schools to manage with inadequate money, then surely that is going to exacerbate problems. It reflects the very reason why people are seeking to ensure that there is appropriate money in the education budget.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Moore, we would be saying that there is adequate money there now for maintenance. It is very clearly a very important part of schooling. In terms of the whole question of school-based management, I think there is a fair bit we need to go through before I could say, for example, that the money this year is all that would be available. I think it is a bit premature for that.

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