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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2804 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

They would have looked at the plan and felt that their vista would not have changed. What would you like to say to them when they are faced with the real possibility that it could change and they could suffer?

MR SMYTH: Oxley residents have raised some concerns, and some misinformation has been put out on this. The reporting of it would have it that the Government is going to build a Queensland-style development right on the lake foreshore, right on the water. That is not so. There is an area bound by Mortimer Lewis Drive that already has an allowance for development in it. We have said that it would also be appropriate to allow residential development inside that area. This is an area that maintains the green buffer between development and the lake foreshore itself, the same green buffer that goes around the entire foreshore of the lake. In regard to those specific concerns, the experts from PALM went out and did a line-of-sight study, and they tell me that the impact on views will be minimal, if any at all.

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

MR HIRD: My question is to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak.

Mr Berry: Bill the bursar basher.

MR HIRD: Listen, you lot. This is a bit of good news. Minister, how is the ACT performing in the provision of apprenticeships and traineeships?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. Prior to answering it, I congratulate the member. As people know, he is a good local member in his electorate who always supports a lot of charities and regularly buys a lot of raffle tickets, usually very unsuccessfully. Ladies and gentlemen, I can say that last night I was there when Harold Hird actually won a prize in a raffle. It was a 10-piece home hair-cutting and grooming kit. But being such a generous fellow and having such a big heart, he is going to donate it back so that it can be a prize in another worthy raffle. Congratulations on that, Harold. It is great that you have donated it back, because you never know - an apprentice or trainee might win. Which comes back to the question.

In answer to your question, the ACT has been doing very well indeed. We have more than 4,500 trainees and apprentices in the current year. This compares with the 2,000 we had back in June 1995. Just this year, 593 people have commenced apprenticeships under the new flexible training system. This is a 12 per cent increase. We expect a 23 per cent final increase for this year. The figures are just continuing to track upwards and are going very well indeed.

There is even more good news in the area. There are now some 18,500 students in our vocational education and training programs in the ACT. Young people make up almost half of that number, and that is the highest proportion in Australia. The ACT is leading Australia in many areas of vocational education and training, and we are providing more vocational education and training than ever. In 1998 publicly funded vocational education and training hours delivered in the ACT increased by some 3.5 per cent, taking it to around almost six million hours.

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