Page 854 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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I look forward to the continuation and strengthening of those programs in the years ahead. We continue to see across the education portfolio—we did cover this in the annual report hearings for the Department of Education and Training last week—continued improvement in both the performance of school buildings in terms of sustainability and also the broader curriculum and engagement with students, parents and the broader community in terms of how schools can take a leadership role in this area.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Just to clarify—how are these programs funded and where is the leadership of these programs based?

MR BARR: Funding comes from a combination of sources, predominantly within the ACT government but also from the commonwealth government. It would be worth noting, as it has been a topical matter in recent times, that the commonwealth stimulus package involves a large capital injection into all schools in the territory, and one of the criteria for receipt of that commonwealth funding is measures to improve the environmental sustainability of our schools.

So there is leadership at both the territory and commonwealth government levels. There is leadership within school communities. There is leadership from students. Mr Speaker and Ms Hunter, you would be very pleased to hear that the level of leadership shown by the next generation of territorians on sustainability issues is admirable.

I am sure that the work that is underway in all of our schools will continue. It has my full support as Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Planning. We will continue to work in partnership with the local community, in terms of both our infrastructure and our curriculum.


MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, in your portfolios of both education and training and planning, would you advise how you are working within these portfolios to secure investment in our schools and to help ensure our economy remains strong?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for her question and for her ongoing interest in the education portfolio. In order to protect the ACT against the global financial crisis the territory government is working with federal Labor to invest in jobs and education for Canberrans. The ACT Labor government is determined to ensure that the ACT gets its share of federal Labor’s $14.7 billion building the education revolution package.

This will deliver upgraded libraries, new classrooms, new gymnasiums—better places to learn, better places to work. This package builds on ACT Labor’s record investment in our schools. We have invested $350 million in upgrading every ACT public school and building new schools where they are most needed. The territory

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