Page 2342 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 16 June 2009

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• national school pride program—that state and territory education authorities and block grant authorities lodge applications for commonwealth approval in each round, with 60 per cent of projects to commence between April and May 2009 and be completed by 20 December 2009 and the remaining 40 per cent to commence by July 2009.

The Australian government has approved funding of $12 million for round one NSP projects at 77 schools. Approximately $7.5 million will go to projects at 50 public schools, while approximately $4.5 million will go to projects at 27 non-government schools. Round one NSP funding represents the order of 60 per cent of schools in the ACT. The commonwealth also announced the approval of round two projects totalling $7.3 million for 49 schools—32 public schools and 17 non-government schools.

Under the first round of the primary schools for the 21st century, the ACT has received approval for 27 projects across 22 schools, worth $50 million. Fourteen of those schools are public schools, four are Catholic and four are independent. Round two of the primary schools for the 21st century was announced on 10 June. The ACT received funding totalling in excess of $140 million for 78 projects at 66 schools. The funding included $106 million for 53 projects at public schools and $33 million for projects at 19 non-government schools.

An industry briefing session was held on 6 May 2009 for pre-qualified architects, building certifiers and project managers involved in delivering these works in both the public and non-government school sectors. The session explained the planning and development regulations and the processes that have been put in place.

The $500 million vocational education and training fund is part of the plan. Guidelines and a funding formula for the better TAFE facilities element of the teaching and learning capital fund, vocational education and learning have been agreed. The six CIT projects lodged by the ACT under this element were approved by the Australian government on 21 May, totalling $3 million.

Guidelines for the second element of the fund, the training infrastructure investment for tomorrow, were distributed to jurisdictions on 16 April, along with a call for submissions. The CIT is the only eligible organisation listed for the ACT. The guidelines allow for bids from consortia led by eligible organisations.

The ACT has been working closely with the Australian government on its reform agenda for social housing. The commonwealth will produce $102 million in the ACT between 2008-09 and 2011-12 for the construction of around 300 social housing units and repairs and maintenance to around 240 existing public housing dwellings. Under this new commitment, the Australian government will allocate funding of $96 million for new social housing:

• Stage 1: the ACT has been allocated $11 million for suitable projects already in its development pipeline that can be brought forward and built by the end of 2009-10. The commonwealth approved stage one construction projects at the end of March 2009. Stage 1 constructions, scheduled to commence in 2009, include townhouses, duplexes and other properties that were already in the development pipeline.

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