Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3076 ..
MR PRATT (continuing):
by 3,000. Course completion outputs are forecast to be down by 10 per cent. Employer satisfaction with CIT trainees is forecast to drop by 11 per cent.
Where the blazes did the $2.2 million go? Increased funding but concurrent output drops are a theme which has been repeated throughout this budget. This is very disappointing. I hope the government has plans to address this issue.
Regrettably, there is little indication the government has sought efficiencies by reallocation of funding from within the existing framework with a view to freeing up resources to fund emerging priorities. We will watch the government to see whether they will be courageous enough in the future to make those sorts of tough decisions.
There are many areas not addressed by this budget which are of great concern to me as shadow minister for education, and I would imagine to the community as well, and which can and should be addressed immediately.
MS DUNDAS (5.14): Mr Speaker, the government is asking us to support an appropriation, as amended, of approximately $544 million not just for education but for youth and family services. I think we would all agree that our public schools need a well-targeted boost in funding. Our teachers are overworked, and the demands on the education sector continue to evolve. Therefore, the refocus of money from transport to education is an initiative the Democrats support.
However, even with almost $550 million to play with in this area, we see the government still working in a mindset that fails to recognise different modes of learning and the important role that youth and family services play in this. Community groups that provide outreach, diversionary programs, ongoing support to our children and their families will suffer under this budget. The services they provide will suffer, and in the long term our community will suffer.
Education should be meaningful for all learners. The UNESCO report of 1996 spoke about learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be. Education takes place throughout life in many forms, none of which ought to be exclusive. We must start to think about our education in a more all-encompassing fashion. While the government has spoken about expenditure within the school gate, they have not yet been able to clearly articulate what the gate looks like, and it fails to recognise that for a child the gate is just arbitrary. What happens at home and on the street are just as important for their educational needs as what happens in the classroom.
I still question the decision to keep any CPI increases for youth and family services to 1 per cent, not even matching the 2.5 per cent set by treasury, or inflation, which I believe is currently at 2.8 per cent. This will result in a real loss of services. So our community organisations, which already do so much, will continue to be asked to do more with less.
I would also like to comment on youth justice. Youth justice moved through three departments over the last financial year to end up in DEYFS. As was mentioned while we were discussing JACS, the need for focus on crime prevention and diversionary programs is key. So while the government spends $300,000 on redesigning Quamby,