Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009) . . Page.. 4053 ..
MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, two states—Queensland and Tasmania—have already had league tables published in the media, yet two recent parent surveys indicated that the great majority of parents did not want schools named and shamed by school performance tables. Minister, why are you as education minister putting scores and performance before other factors such as student safety, teacher retention and school culture?
MR BARR: I am not, and in response to Ms Bresnan, perhaps to close this matter, this is a national approach. All states and territories are engaged with the commonwealth in a detailed set of discussions in relation to the principles and protocols of school reporting. A discussion paper has been released and is publicly available. Over the next six to eight weeks, ministers and jurisdictions will finalise those national reporting principles and protocols. They will be made publicly available. Data will be available on the ACARA website that, I think, will be www.myschool.edu.au.
That website will go live in the middle of December. That will occur, but there will be principles and protocols in place to ensure, as I have indicated, that students’ privacy is protected, that the reporting is in the broad public interest and that the data is valid, reliable and detailed enough to enable accurate interpretation and understanding of that data. It is an important part, but one of many elements, of both this government’s and the Australian government’s approach to reforming education. As I say, it is one of those elements but, nonetheless, an important one.
In relation to the particular polling that was undertaken, I have seen that particular survey. Far be it from me to comment too much on the sorts of questions and polling that might be utilised, but when the question is asked, “Do you think it is a top priority or not a top priority?” I was interested that more than a third of the respondents actually believed that it was the top priority in education—ahead of investing more in teachers, ahead of lower class sizes, ahead of upgrading school facilities. Nearly a third said it was the issue in education. I do not believe it is “the issue”, but it is one of about half a dozen.
MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns ACTPLA’s recent rejection of a development application for a large supermarket at Giralang shops. Will ACTPLA now enforce the lease conditions requiring that a number of small shops are operational again on the site so as to give the local residents local shops again?
MR BARR: As members would be aware, there was a development application lodged to consolidate blocks 4 and 5 at Giralang into a single block. The application sought approval to vary the crown lease and to construct a new supermarket that would be operated by Woolworths. The proposed GFA for the development was very large for a local centre.
The site, as members will also perhaps be aware, was the subject of a previous development application lodged in March 2008 that, again, was not supported by the