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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2194 ..

The consultants provided a best practice framework for the future delivery of counselling and welfare services and proposed four models that could be developed within the framework.

(4) All MLAs have been provided with a copy of the report.

(5) The Government has an open mind on the four options outlined in the report. However, the report found evidence of the need for a range of support roles to address the increasingly complex needs of students. A multi-disciplinary approach would combine counselling, educational psychology, social work and family support, including support for students with disabilities and for young people needing youth worker expertise.

(6) A departmental working group is being established to examine the report provided by the consultants and to develop a plan for implementation of an enhanced service model. The working group will be responsible for implementing the Government's budget initiative that provides for a youth worker in each high school. The group will be supported by a reference group comprised of government and non-government representatives. Costs of developing the implementation plan will not be significant and will be met from within existing departmental resources.

(7) It is anticipated that an implementation plan will be completed by the end of the 2003 school year.

(8) Some reforms can commence immediately, for example improving counsellors' access to resources. Introduction of other reforms may depend on advice from the working and reference groups.

(9) School counsellors will be represented in the implementation group, as will their professional group, the Australian Guidance and Counselling Association.

(10) Student need is the prime focus of the school counselling service. The review suggests that the purpose of the counselling service should be clearly identified within the broader context of the shared responsibility for student welfare among the school community, the education sector and the broader community. A strategy recommended by the review is that a set of agreed student outcomes to be achieved by counselling and welfare services needs to be developed. The working group will consider how this recommendation can be implemented.

ACTION-bus replacement program

(Question No 667)

Mr Smyth

asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice:

In relation to the ACTION bus replacement program:

(1) How much of the $400,000 allocated this financial year to the bus replacement program has been expended;

(2) How much of the funding allocated had been expended as at 30 April 2003 specifically on the purchase of new buses;

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