Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 June 2009) . . Page.. 2341 ..
for ensuring the ACT maximises the share of the stimulus package it receives. The task force has also been tasked with identifying changes to systems, procedures, practices or policies that are required in order to meet the time frames.
To expedite the schools construction program, exemptions from development applications took effect on 23 March. These exemptions apply to all projects that meet prescribed physical parameters, within certain heights and setbacks, and for features such as shade structure and upgrading front entrances. The school works have also been exempted from third-party appeals which had the potential to cause significant delays to the construction work.
A notifiable instrument regarding development exemptions for regulated trees has also come into force for building the education revolution projects. Other measures are under consideration to streamline planning approval processes to ensure the ACT receives the full benefit of the timely delivery of the stimulus package. Further detail on the implementation of the main elements of the nation building and jobs plan in the ACT follows.
The Australian government will provide in the order of $230 million locally over the next three financial years for new facilities and refurbishments at the ACT’s public and non-government schools. This will allow schools to build and upgrade facilities which will also be available for broader community use. The investment will help to stimulate the local economy through the scale and pace of construction work.
Three key elements of the building the education revolution are:
• primary schools to the 21st century: investment of $208 million in the ACT to build or renew large-scale infrastructure in all primary schools;
• national school pride program: investment of $20 million in the ACT to refurbish and renew existing infrastructure and build minor infrastructure, with up to $200,000 provided per school; and
• science and language centres for 21st century secondary schools: an application based fund to build new science laboratories and language learning centres in secondary schools that can demonstrate both need and capacity to complete construction.
In recognition of the need to deliver the financial stimulus from building the education revolution, the jurisdictions have agreed under:
• primary schools for the 21st century—that states and territories and block grant authorities, on behalf of the non-government schools, prioritise school project bids into three funding rounds for commonwealth approval;
• science and language centres for 21st century secondary schools—that schools will be funded on a competitive basis where schools can demonstrate need, readiness and capacity to complete construction by 30 June 2010; and