Page 3947 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008

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will be opened in 2011. They are all funded and the work is underway for these very important projects.

We are not just investing in the physical bricks and mortar. We are also investing in the important provision of information and communication technology facilities that will provide each and every one of our school students with access to that very important realm of the internet and of electronic information.

We have established and implemented a $20 million rollout of fibre optic to every public primary school, making the ACT’s public schools the most connected in the country. We have implemented a new curriculum framework “Every chance to learn”, along with a dedicated pastoral care coordinator in every high school. We have partnered with the Australian National University to open the ANU secondary college, which enables academically gifted students to study courses that will go towards their future university qualifications. These are all important achievements in service delivery.

We have increased the total student numbers in vocational education and training by 17 per cent since 2002 and we have achieved a 51 per cent increase in the number of apprentices and trainees over the same period. In 2007 we launched the Canberra Institute of Technology vocational college, offering 3,000 Canberrans every year essential skills and job training. We are supporting women who want to return to work after full-time parenting through our return-to-work grants. These are all key achievements in service delivery, benefiting the Canberra community and they are being delivered by the ACT Labor government.

I would now like to turn to the issue of a fair and safe community. Canberrans now are enjoying one of the lowest levels of burglary in the past decade. The government has put 122 more police officers on the job and an additional 16 patrol cars. Funding for emergency services has almost doubled since we first assumed government, to a level of more than $60 million per annum. The government is proud to invest in new facilities such as our first prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre. Not only will this building mean that the ACT takes responsibility for housing and rehabilitating our own prisoners for the first time; it is also the first prison in Australia which will be designed and run applying human rights principles.

The government’s achievements have also been significant in areas such as law reform, including reforms in areas of tort law, eliminating discrimination against gay and lesbian people, codifying the Criminal Code and overhauling the Bail Act. We have passed Australia’s first bill of rights and we have decriminalised abortion—the first jurisdiction in the country to do so.

We have provided free services and programs for refugees and temporary visa holders, including childcare for parents attending English language classes at the Canberra Institute of Technology. Again, Mr Speaker, this is a clear and strong program of improving service delivery for all Canberrans.

Other notable statistics that are worth highlighting show that we have increased community services and engagement by 56 per cent, funding for therapy services has

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