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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2366 ..

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—part 1.17—Canberra Institute of Technology—$64,195,000 (net cost of outputs), $11,891,000 (capital injection), totalling $76,086,000

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (1.06 am): This budget provides significant funding to CIT and, apart from acknowledging this increased commitment, there are only a couple of points that I want to raise. This investment is welcome, especially considering the Skills Commission report. The ACT branch of the Australian Education Union noted:

The ACT Skills Commission has highlighted the massive skills shortage in the ACT and it is still a better investment to properly engage, educate and train our young people to their maximum potential than to rely on importing workers and professionals …

The CIT budget increases, both recurrent and for capital works will make a significant difference to improving the skills shortage and take the ACT closer to technical and further education funding levels prior to the 2006 budget cut.

It does look as though it is a little bit of a case of repair, but the CIT is definitely moving in very positive directions now.

There are just a couple of issues that came up this year for us. The first is the closing of the Weston campus. We are still not 100 per cent sure that that is the right thing. However, it does seem to be happening with a fair amount of support from students or at least not a great deal of dispute about it. I can only assume that, though I must say, from what I have seen of the student body over the last decade or so, they are not inclined to fight for their education as one would have thought they would be. Nonetheless, the move is happening.

I hope that the new horticulture facility will be state of the art. It sounded pretty good when we questioned officials, I think it was in the annual reports hearings; it might have been estimates.

Mr Barr: You asked questions in both annual reports and in estimates hearings.

DR FOSKEY: That is why they are running in together. Thanks, Mr Barr. You obviously have a younger memory than mine.

Ms Porter: Can we go home now?

DR FOSKEY: I am sorry that we do have to go on, Ms Porter. I do not want to bore you but it is just there are things that need to be said.

I want to finish up by commending to the minister a report that I heard about on the radio. I have not actually downloaded it yet. I think ACF was one of the funders. It is on something like the green collar economy. It talks about the very large number of employees that we will need with sustainability skills which we do not have yet. Once we have a carbon emission scheme, once we are really on the way to understanding

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