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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 1904 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

everybody sits around. There were people up at the front who wrote down everybody's ideas - the ideas of the public servants, our ideas, the sorts of things that might work and the sorts of things that would not. Everything is written down. How these things work is that absolutely everything is written down. As I said in answer to Mr Whitecross's questions, there were some fairly outlandish ideas as well, things that were right off the planet, things that are not, and never will be, ACT Liberal Party policy. What happened was that they were all put down. They were all on the transcript, the butchers paper that we are talking about here.

That is not ACT Liberal policy. It is not Government policy at all. It was obviously one of the very many things that were brought up at that - - -

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. It might help the Chief Minister to an earlier answer to the question. Which of the statements is untrue?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: That is fine, Mr Speaker. I have no problems at all with that. As I just said, the issues that were on the butchers paper at that meeting have no basis in Liberal Party policy or Government policy. That is quite clear.

Canberra Institute of Technology - English Language Courses

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, my question is for Mr Stefaniak as Minister for Education. Minister, I am sure you would be aware that lack of English language skills is a cause of great disadvantage for many migrants, particularly when it comes to securing employment. In an increasingly competitive labour market, written and spoken communication skills are extremely important. I wonder whether the Minister is aware that the Federal Liberal Government has frozen funds for the CIT special intervention programs which provide language classes for non-English-speaking people. Over 300 students who felt that they needed this course have just been told that they will not be able to re-enrol in July. My question is: What is your Government going to do to ensure that local residents are not disadvantaged because of the short-sighted policy of your Federal counterparts?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for the question. She is referring to some Federal Department of Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs courses that were run by the Canberra Institute of Technology. My understanding, Ms Tucker, is that DEETYA has not officially advised the CIT of any funding cuts at this time, but this matter is being actively pursued with the Commonwealth agency. The CIT is taking it up with DEETYA. The CIT has a contract to offer a minimum level of activity on DEETYA's behalf, as specified in the 1995 to 1998 special intervention contract. The ACT CES, I understand, has ceased recommending DEETYA clients to future courses and this has led to speculation that classes will be cut back or discontinued. In the ACT the demand for English language programs has largely been met by Commonwealth funding. The CIT management is currently pursuing with DEETYA what its plans are for future CES courses.

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