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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2643 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Principals of special schools have been informed that the summer program is not operating at Malkara. Parents will be advised in writing to contact the focus programs section of the department for full details of the replacement program. Funding will be available to cover extra workers if required. Extra staff employed in the past have been interested teachers and assistants from the casual relief list and interested student assistants.

Mr Berry: Do you have a view on this?

MR STEFANIAK: I think it will go very well, Mr Berry. Why do you not give it a go? In conclusion, the Government is committed to continuing support to enable students from the special schools to access highly subsidised and more inclusive holiday programs. By organising this change to the summer school program, the advantages will be that the hours per day will be significantly longer - from 8.00 am, I am told, until 6.00 pm instead of nine until three - which I think is a pretty good idea; children will have the opportunity to mix with their peers and siblings from regular schools; places will be available in geographically more convenient locations; and the students will have access to a wider range of activities, including outdoor activities for the more physically able. All in all, Mr Speaker, it is a better program.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I gather from the Minister's total silence on the subject that there was no consultation whatsoever, which indeed is what the parents have been telling me. I would recommend that the Minister actually check whether what the department say in their brief is actually what is occurring, because in my opinion it is not. If there was no consultation, who advised the Minister to make these changes, and was that advice based on any sort of a research program or any substantial basis whatsoever?

MR STEFANIAK: The substantial basis, Ms Follett, is a better program. My understanding is that there has been quite a bit of consultation. Both the Chief Minister and I have spoken to parents, the department has spoken to parents, and there is ongoing consultation, Ms Follett.

Government Service - Enterprise Bargaining

MR KAINE: I address a question to Mr De Domenico, Minister for Industrial Relations. Minister, I notice the front-page article in the Canberra Times this morning talks about a pay offer. It states:

The Carnell Government is offering all ACT workers a 1 per cent pay increase before Christmas, provided that their unions finalise the "framework" enterprise-bargaining agreement.

This statement is not attributed to you, Minister. It is attributed to an unnamed Government source. Minister, can you confirm that that report is correct; that you are indeed offering a one per cent pay increase - I presume to ACT government workers, not all ACT workers - before Christmas, provided that the unions agree to the framework enterprise bargaining agreement?

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