Page 129 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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From the information that I have seen and from the assurances that the board has given me on the rather complex way that scores are determined, I am confident at this stage that there does not seem to be any issue with the way scores are provided across the colleges, although it is a complex area. As I said, the Chief Minister has asked for further information about it. We do see within the school system some colleges doing well and performing very strongly and other colleges not doing so well. Independent advice has been sought about that over the history of the system in the ACT and all the advice to us at this stage has been that the system is fair and delivers results that are equally measured across the system for all students who participate in it.

As I said, we are seeking further advice on some of the concerns that have been raised recently, advice which I believe would answer your question more fully once we have it, but at this stage I have no reason to doubt the system in place, in that it is delivering the scores that students are achieving through their year 12 and year 11 performance at college.

DR FOSKEY: I have a supplementary question. Will you make the scaling committee table which links the ACT to New South Wales schools available to the Assembly?

MS GALLAGHER: I believe that the table that Dr Foskey is talking about is not publicly available. It is a New South Wales table and it is not publicly available in New South Wales. I just would not be in a position to table that document in the Assembly. It is a New South Wales table which is not publicly available. As I said, extensive concerns have been raised by a person about the system, and that person has sought to obtain the table. We are currently working on getting some external advice through the board so as to look at that person’s concerns and see whether there is anything legitimate about them, in which case we would need to respond. At this stage, all the advice to me is that the concerns are not valid, but we will look at it further. As to the table, it is not publicly available.

Budget—unencumbered cash

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. The Mid year review shows that the territory’s unencumbered cash will fall next year to less than $1 million. From a level of around $500 million earlier this decade, that is a dramatic collapse. How much of that rundown in unencumbered cash has been used to fund current expenditure? Now that the unencumbered cash is all but gone, how will operating losses and capital works be funded in future years?

MR QUINLAN: I have requested the figures, because I anticipated questions such as this, to look back at previous years so that we have a view. Of course the cash situation is obviously going to go with the cycle that you are in. I can certainly tell you that the 2001 budget that Mr Stanhope referred to shows the unencumbered cash in the outyears dropping to virtually nothing. I think it was $9 million for the year 2005.

That was your budgeting. That was the supposedly wonderful financial position that we took over from you guys. I think it is implied in the question that you have asked, Mr Mulcahy, that somehow in the previous decade the $500 million unencumbered cash

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