Page 1664 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 April 2009

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There is support, through the student support fund, for students for whom that might be too much of a contribution. But ultimately that is the challenge that we face in the provision of any quality public facility. If we want to ensure its long-term viability, if we want to ensure that it is the best of its kind in Australia, there is a cost that is associated with that. My view is that, provided there are appropriate concessions and that there are ways to ensure that no student misses out, a fee of that nature is reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary question?

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. What then are the equity implications of this approach to facility management, and can you table in the Assembly any equity impact analysis which has been conducted into this by the department?

MR BARR: I answered this in the first part of my response. There is in place a half-million dollar fund across the ACT public school system that assists students with access not just to Birrigai but to all school excursions, to ensure that no-one misses out. That fund is often not fully expended, so there is capacity in that fund to meet those costs. But I repeat my point: ultimately, a fee of $15.50, for the quality of facility that is available at Birrigai, I believe is appropriate, and if we want to be able to maintain and expand that facility into the future, having an appropriate revenue stream to meet the costs of running a facility of that quality is necessary. The important point is to ensure that there are equity measures in place, and there are, but it would not be reasonable for everyone else to be subsidising that facility for those students who clearly can afford a $15.50 fee.

Planning—unit titles

MR COE: My question is to the Attorney-General and it relates to unit titles. Attorney, on Thursday last week, you made a ministerial statement in which you made a commitment to publish an information booklet for unit title owners and to distribute it via letterbox drops and agents. The 28 March edition of the Canberra Times carried a community noticeboard advertisement of the ACT government, in which advice of a website was given for more information on unit title changes. A phone number for the Office of Regulatory Services was also provided. Attorney, is it still the government’s intention to publish and distribute the information booklet in accordance with your undertaking last week? If yes, when? If no, why not?

MR CORBELL: Yes, and I am pleased that Mr Coe is paying attention to the community noticeboard, a very important initiative designed to centralise government information and make it more accessible to the Canberra community.

Mr Stanhope: We’ll probably have to discontinue it if that mad legislation goes through.

MR CORBELL: I am very pleased that that is made available. Of course, as the Chief Minister indicates, it is potentially a form of community advertising at threat through Mr Seselja’s bill.

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