Page 786 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005

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more on their mortgages and have $50 a month less to spend on consumables, the GST revenue received by the commonwealth will reduce. The payments to the states as a result of the reduced payments of GST by the commonwealth will be less. You already think we pay our public servants too much. You already think we are providing too many services. And you want us to cut other taxes! If that is your formula, fine. But I am interested in what your version of how you are going to govern in that environment looks like.

Over the last couple of weeks interest rates have gone up, mortgages have gone up 50 bucks a month under your party, consumables less, GST receipts reduced, payments to the states less and you want us to go around willy-nilly cutting taxes. Well, we will not because we have a commitment to the people of Canberra. We have a commitment to the best health services in Australia. We have a commitment to the best education in Australia. We have a commitment to a strong economic base and the provision of all the other services that we provide.


MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Can the minister inform the Assembly of recent developments in curriculum renewal for all ACT students?

MS GALLAGHER: I welcome the opportunity to talk about the new developments in curriculum for all ACT school students. I think the ACT community should be very proud of the role that the curriculum renewal task force, the consultative committee, local education and industry leaders, teachers and parents have played in developing “Every chance to learn, curriculum for ACT schools, from pre-school to year 10, principles and framework.” This government’s priority has been and will continue to be that the ACT leads Australia in education, training and lifelong learning.

In 2003, we established the curriculum renewal task force to direct the review of curriculum for all ACT schools. Members may have noticed that the curriculum principles and framework were released late last month. This represents a first phase of the new curriculum for our schools. While the current curriculum frameworks had served us well for the past 10 years, they needed to be revised and updated to meet the challenges of the 21st century. It was a very big task: one that could not be rushed or limited by lack of vision, and it needed to be built on sound educational research.

Schools need to be dynamic and evolving places of learning that take account of all the advancements and changing community expectations of the 21st century. The central importance of knowledge has placed pressure on Australian schools over recent decades, and the children currently attending our schools will require the skills and knowledge to negotiate their way in a more complex and global world. At the same time, regional differences can mean that schools and education systems need to be responsive to the needs of regional economies and local populations. More than ever before, education is strongly linked to employment and economic outcomes.

With the release of the new curriculum, the ACT publication reflects current research and best practice around the world and many educationalists have commented on how well placed the ACT is in ensuring that our students are experiencing learning

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