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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3526 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Hargreaves has raised issues about the orderly planning of the ACT and region, and there is a debate to be had there. For instance, we know that from the debate we have had in this place about the need for development at Gungahlin, for further development at Tuggeranong and for us to support our major town centres.

Canberra was planned on a basis that presupposes significant employment bases within the town centres. That has stalled and has stalled quite seriously in Gungahlin, and it is stalling to some extent in Tuggeranong. Those were the issues that Mr Hargreaves was seeking to raise in the comments that he made. So we are talking about two issues here.

Canberra airport are to be congratulated. I have congratulated them unhesitatingly, and will support them fully, as I always have.

MRS DUNNE: I need some clarification, Chief Minister. When Mr Hargreaves called Terry Snow the "Bob Jelly of Canberra", is it a case of him rushing in where angels fear to tread, or does he now just hobble?

MR STANHOPE: That was a bit too sophisticated for me, Mr Speaker.

Government Schools Education Council

MS DUNDAS: My question is for the minister for education. Minister, in the exposure draft of the education bill, the proposed Government Schools Education Council is to have members drawn from the fields of business and commerce. Can you explain how people with a business and commerce background are suited to advise on the education of children in kindergarten?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Dundas for the question. The Government Schools Education Council has 18 members and comprises a mix of community representatives and expert members. It has teachers from the different sectors; representatives of primary, secondary and college principals; students; educationalists; members of the general community; and representatives of the business community. That is a reasonable mix.

It is important to note that business is equally interested in the effectiveness of our education system in delivering citizens who have the skills and abilities needed in the contemporary workforce. I see no reason why business cannot have a seat at the table along with educationalists, teachers, parents and students when it comes to looking at whole-of-government education policies and priorities in the territory.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Dundas, do you have a supplementary question?

MS DUNDAS: The minister did not answer the point about the role of business in the education of children at kindergarten level. I get the point that business has a role in monitoring education. But wouldn't it be more appropriate then to have two education councils to address the separate issues that affect primary and secondary education?

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