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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 2794 ..

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, you will notice that those chocolates are French chocolates, but they were bought before the ban.

MR SPEAKER: But, Mr Berry, we have not yet lifted the ban in the Assembly, so they cannot possibly be eaten.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, you run the risk of me taking them back because they did not work. You did not fall into line, so we have at least proven that bribes do not work.

Evening Colleges

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, following the transfer of the evening college, the one that you got stuck into out in the suburbs, to the CIT, will you now admit that your decision to slash the subsidy to the evening colleges was a bad and ill-informed decision and was deliberately and maliciously designed to render them non-viable in their suburban locations, at great injury to those people who are using them out in the suburbs, particularly low-income earners and single parents?

MR STEFANIAK: My short answer to Mr Berry is: Do not be ridiculous. If you knew what happened with CITs and evening colleges throughout the country you would realise that in New South Wales, for example, all adult education in evening colleges is carried out by the institutes. Mr Berry, last year we attempted to put the evening college system in the colleges on a more financially secure basis and expand it from just the four colleges which have it and which are, indeed, out in the suburbs. For a low-income person it probably would be more trouble to get there if they had to get buses, even if they live in the same geographical area, than utilising one of the two TAFE colleges which will be providing the service next year. Unfortunately, the same four colleges only took up the evening colleges last year and the numbers were considerably down. Mr Berry, we honoured our commitment to low-income earners and ensured that they completed their courses and that they were heavily subsidised.

In relation to the CIT course, I am happy to indicate that the CIT will offer an intensive Year 12 evening program reflecting the current day program for mature students. This program is very successful because, out of the 144 Year 12 graduates from that college, 84 got university offers, 19 were ranked in the top 10 per cent in the ACT, and two were in the top one per cent. I think that speaks volumes for the quality of the CIT program. The 12 months course will provide students with an ACT Year 12 certificate issued by the Board of Senior Secondary Studies. CIT is expecting more enrolments than we saw last year in the four colleges that continued with the evening college program. A number of subjects will be offered, comparable with the range of courses currently offered by the evening colleges.

The Year 12 certificate evening courses will be offered at two campuses, Reid and Bruce. The cost to the students compares very favourably with the fees that are paid under the current evening college system. A typical student, studying over two semesters, will pay approximately $600 a year, and the normal CIT concessions, which are very generous,

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