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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 634 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

The approach that I have taken with them is this: Firstly, we are writing to the Commonwealth asking for a split between us and the Commonwealth, as you would expect, in this particular area. This is an increase that certainly was nothing to do with the ACT Government. In areas such as HACC funding and other areas of community services, the Federal Government is a fifty-fifty partner. Certainly, the ACT Government will have to pick up some of the tab; there is no doubt at all about that. But I think we should all be putting all the pressure that we can on the Federal Government to pick up their share as well. I have made it very clear to all the organisations that have written to me that, yes, we accept some of the liability; yes, we accept that community organisations simply are not in the position to pick up what could be 30 per cent increases in salaries. We know that. Equally, we believe that the Commonwealth has responsibilities too.

MS REILLY: The question I asked related to the assistance that the Chief Minister could provide. From her answer, is she providing full budget supplementation for the introduction of the award?

MRS CARNELL: No, we are not. I have made that clear in the letters that I have put forward. First of all, what we have to do is determine how much we are talking about. You would also be aware, I am sure, Ms Reilly, that most of the organisations involved - I think all of them - are still unable to tell us exactly what the dollar figure is. It is absolutely impossible to give budget supplementation when you do not know what the figure is. We have been providing assistance and certainly asking the organisations to identify what the actual quantum is. In the meantime, we have told them that we are approaching the Federal Government for a commitment from them to be part of a supplementation approach. I have given a commitment. The ACT Government certainly accepts that we have an obligation in this area. We do not know what that obligation is, because they do not at this stage.

Secondary College Teachers

MS FOLLETT: I have a question of the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Stefaniak. Will you inform the house exactly how many teachers have been taken out of secondary colleges - either by way of positions not being filled or by transfer?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. In terms of the exact numbers taken out of secondary colleges and moved elsewhere, I will have to take that on notice and get back to the member concerned.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker, which no doubt the Minister will also need to take on notice. Will the Minister inform the house, as a result of the removal of teachers and of his mismanagement of the education budget, how many courses or programs have had to be abandoned or amended or are no longer available to students in our secondary colleges?

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