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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1505 ..

accounts, going to reduce its activity, its consumption and its level of effort within our community.

This is a perfect budget for the times. It takes into account the risks we face and it faces up to the risks we face. It seeks to address them rather than doing as the Liberals would do—lying down limply by the side of the road and waiting for the tide to wash over us, rather than standing, facing it and dealing with it as a good government with good economic credentials and a sustainable budget has the capacity to do.

Education—public system

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Can the minister inform the Assembly of the steps being taken by the Stanhope government to help Canberrans be better prepared for the future through the ACT public education system?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her continued interest in education matters. Ms Porter has asked more questions on education than the entire opposition combined over some time.

The very fine budget that was brought down yesterday by the Treasurer continues this government’s record investment in public education. The ACT leads the nation, and in many cases the world, in educational outcomes. This government is committed to ensuring that all ACT students have access to high-quality education.

Whilst the merchants of doom opposite carp about the budget and try to look for some small political advantage, I am very pleased to be able to advise the people of the ACT that the extra funding provided for education in yesterday’s budget means that funding for education under the Stanhope Labor government has increased by more than 40 per cent since the government was elected in 2001.

We know that the single biggest factor influencing a student’s performance is the quality of the teaching they receive. That is why the 2008-09 budget provides funding to enhance quality teaching and supports teachers in the classroom and throughout their careers. The $2.378 million extra that is provided for professional development for staff will help teachers across the ACT education system to adopt the quality teaching model out of New South Wales. And almost $1 million is targeted for professional development for literacy and numeracy coordinators in all of our public schools.

We know that quality education—quality public education—is the greatest provider of opportunity and the best way to eliminate poverty in our society. That is why teachers who teach students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds will receive additional support through this budget. We will be providing $421,000 to enhance professional development for the next generation of teachers to assume the leadership positions that our public education system needs into the future.

In addition to quality teaching, the government wants to ensure that our schools are of a consistently high standard in both the public and private sectors. That is why we

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