Page 1483 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 April 2005

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residents. Members should be aware that state and territory training ministers received a letter from the commonwealth last week outlining the revised three-year funding offer, but we are still awaiting the final detail.

State and territory ministers will meet with the commonwealth minister next Friday, 15 April, and I can assure Mrs Dunne and ACT residents that the government will be actively seeking more dollars in the recurrent part of the agreement or a guaranteed access to the savings that are going to be salvaged from the demise of ANTA.

Mrs Dunne also made this comment, in the area of children, youth and family support, about answers during estimates:

... no-one, the minister or the department, could definitively say whether they had actually got to the bottom of the cost pressures in the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support.

After hearing that, I went back to check the transcript of proceedings and I found out that Mrs Dunne had not asked that question. She had asked a range of other questions—a total of 10 questions—all of which were answered. If she had asked me the question about whether we could definitively say that we have got to the bottom of the cost pressures, my answer would have been no, because the cost pressures that we are seeing are demand based and I do not think that it is appropriate to say that we have a full understanding of where those cost pressures may be—and we would not, certainly in the next year—and, rather than turn away children or not have the funds to deal with them, I will continually come back to seek money in a responsible fashion, through additional appropriations, if it is so required.

Marist College

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (6.26): I wanted to mention to the house today that on Monday afternoon I had the pleasure, along with Senator Humphries and the Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Smyth, of attending the blessing and official opening of the resource centre at the Marist College located in Pearce, Canberra. This is a school at which I have had children; I have been a parent there. Mr Smyth is a well recognised former scholar. Indeed, his photo is in the hall of fame, as I saw on Monday, on his election as member for Canberra. It is obviously a fine institution.

Marist College comprises both junior and senior schools, providing education for boys in years 4 to 12, with a total of almost 1,700 students. Whilst it is important to note that the climate, tone and spirit of the school are far more important than any of its physical aspects, it is also true that it is difficult to implement any curriculum without the buildings, equipment and resources. Marist is fortunate in having facilities that are second to none, recently enhanced and equipped with the addition of the new resource centre.

Since the opening of Marist College in 1968, the school has experienced a steady and sustained enrolment growth and consequent growth in plant and facilities. I think it is worth noting that the changing nature of education, relating both to the facilities required and the options available, called for the planning of a new building at the school.

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