Page 2243 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

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Sustainable schools pilot

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Minister for Education. It concerns the sustainable schools pilot. The commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage web wage on sustainable schools states that in December 2004 the Minister for the Environment and Heritage approved $120,000 in funding to the Australian Capital Territory for the national sustainable schools initiative. Significant results have already been achieved through this program in five other states to date but it appears that nothing is yet happening in the ACT.

Could the minister please commit to a starting date for this project and advise the Assembly by what date the commonwealth funding for the project would need to be expended and what plans there are to advertise for a lead project officer.

MS GALLAGHER: I am not aware of the detail of Dr Foskey’s question, so I will take it on notice. I am aware of the national sustainable schools initiative. There are pilot projects in operation, I believe, in ACT government schools. But I will get the specific details of the information for you.

DR FOSKEY: I ask a supplementary question. How will you continue this important project if the pilot proves to be as successful as it has been in five other states?

MS GALLAGHER: I will get a briefing on the project. I am happy to provide that to you, Dr Foskey. I should say that schools already do a range of activities to make sure that they are operating in a sustainable environment wherever possible. Of course we have old infrastructure that presents some challenges to that, but if you look at Amaroo school, the new school that has been built, the way it has been built, the materials it has been built with and the way they are using their curriculum to understand some of the special features of Amaroo school in relation to sustainability, I think you will find that schools do a number of things outside of this project already. It is not the be-all and end-all. We will get the briefing on this specific project for you. We are happy to provide a broader briefing if you are interested.

Planning guidelines

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, in September 2004, prior to the last election, you made an announcement in relation to the development of A10 guidelines for inner north and inner south areas of Canberra. You directed ACTPLA to prepare additional policies to make sure that development in the residential core was complementary and sympathetic to the garden city character of the inner north and inner south suburbs. In writing to a constituent on 22 November 2004 you stated:

I have asked that the Authority give the production of the design Guidelines for core areas priority.

In reply to a question on notice you have now stated that no money has been allocated for the preparation of these guidelines, and ACTPLA has indicated that no-one will work on these guidelines until funding is provided. Why did you tell constituents that the A10

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