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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2004) . . Page.. 1307 ..

fully committed to ensuring that the program for the development of Gungahlin Drive comprehensively addresses environmental issues so that the outcomes are integrated, sustainable and in the public interest. The environmental impact process, by way of a preliminary assessment, is an important tool for achieving that. A vast amount of work has gone into this. There have been many public meetings and many submissions have been received. The work has been done; it is now time to build the road.

MR SPEAKER: This discussion is concluded.

Education Bill 2003

Debate resumed.

MS GALLAGHER (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Women and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.34): Several issues have arisen since the initial presentation of the Education Bill 2003 into the Assembly in November 2003. The government is proposing a series of amendments to the bill to address these issues. The first proposed government amendment is designed to minimise disadvantage to schools that are already operating in the ACT and that have satisfied the notification period under section 22(1) of the Education Act 1937 for the commencement of additional educational levels. This amendment will provide that where a school is already operating and has provided notice of an intention to operate the school at additional educational levels prior to the date the Education Bill 2003 was presented in the Assembly on 27 November 2003, it will have been considered to have satisfied the notification period and criteria for in-principle approval until all the proposed educational levels have commenced operation. This amendment does not apply to proposed educational providers that are yet to commence operating in ACT schools.

The bill prescribes that those proposed providers that are provisionally registered under the Education Act 1937 prior to the commencement date of the new act will be taken to be provisionally registered under the new act. The strength of the proposed amendment is that existing schools are not disadvantaged by the implementation of new legislation. It is expected that this amendment will be supported by stakeholders in non-government education as it provides a mechanism for all schools that have commenced operating to reach their intended educational levels without having to provide further notification to the department and satisfy the criteria for in-principle approval.

The second proposed amendment is designed to limit the chief executive’s curriculum responsibilities and to provide greater clarity and accountability. Currently, the provisions state that the chief executive must decide the curriculum requirements for government schools. The amendment proposes that the bill be amended to read, “The chief executive must decide the curriculum requirements for children attending government schools other than in years 11 and 12.” This will ensure that the chief executive retains the power to decide the curriculum requirements for children attending government schools from pre-school to year 10 and that the Board of Senior Secondary Studies retains the power to approve courses for years 11 and 12. This will also apply to non-government schools.

There are three technical issues that have arisen: the addition of a transitional regulation-making power, which will provide flexibility in dealing with the unforeseen situations;

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