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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3879 ..

Mr Berry: And we did.

MR STEFANIAK: Yes, you did - nothing. So, in relation to Copland College, it has a very good reputation and is an excellent college. Indeed, it is now embarking on a lot of effort to ensure that its numbers are turned around, and I believe that that can occur. The Government certainly is very supportive of efforts it makes to improve its numbers. As recently as yesterday, I had discussions with my colleague Mr De Domenico on issues such as bussing. I see people from the college on a number of occasions, and, over about the last 15 months, they have raised a number of issues. They have indicated things that they wish to do in terms of their college. They have indicated concerns that they have had. I am pleased to see that there has been a very big effort put in this year in terms of enrolments for next year.

The college is secure in its numbers for next year. It has a committed staff, who are doing a lot in terms of promoting their college in the region, as indeed are the students. I certainly have spoken to a large number of parents who would have had children attending there and who are very happy with the college, Mr Wood. I certainly hope to see that, with continued effort and support, the numbers will not only turn around but increase, so that we will see a lot more students, especially the in-area students, going to that college. It is also helped by the fact that it seems that both Hawker and Lake Ginninderra colleges are now pretty well full. That is a further factor, I think, that will assist Copland, as indeed will such things as the growing population in Gungahlin.

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Minister, can you assure us that you are not planning another twinning surprise?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Wood, you know that events often happen fairly quickly in education; but I do not think anything that looks remotely like that would be on the cards or possible, certainly in the foreseeable future. I have said that there have been a number of efforts put in this year by the staff, by the students and by the department to assist Copland College. I think there are a number of factors that are travelling in its favour, in terms of increasing its numbers. It offers some very good courses, Mr Wood. It is looking at further specialties there. For example, the greater emphasis we are placing, and indeed our system is placing, on developing vocational education and training courses in our secondary colleges and the expansion that is going to occur there will also assist colleges such as Copland. So, I think there are some excellent things which are in the pipeline and will be greatly beneficial to Copland College, Mr Wood.

Chief Minister's Department - Financial Statements

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, in the absence of the Chief Minister, I will direct my question to the Deputy Chief Minister. Minister, I seek clarification of a matter that was brought up yesterday during question time, regarding some draft documents sent by the Auditor-General to the Chief Minister's Department and certain issues arising, or allegedly arising, from those documents. Particularly given that the Opposition alleged that they exposed major accounting problems - this was the big expose - can you indicate to us just what status these documents enjoy and just what validity they have?

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