Page 4819 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 11 November 2009

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MS GALLAGHER: The deficit of $26 million is the correct figure. The difference relates to the superannuation investments, which are not included in the financial statements but are included in our net operating balance.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, could you point us to the part of the report where the figure of $27 million is reflected?

MS GALLAGHER: It is not in the report, in the tables, for the reasons I have just explained, but I am happy to provide further advice if the Leader of the Opposition needs it. It is just the way the report is presented in accordance with the standards that are required as opposed to how we report in our budget statements. I am happy to provide further information if you require it.

Education—student information

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, last week the Victorian government announced a new form of progress report as an alternative to the federal government’s national report card. This assessment tool will publish performance data on a new website, allowing parents to compare information on student wellbeing, retention rates, post-school outcomes and student engagement. Will the minister consider providing ACT parents with the same information that is being given to Victorian parents?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Hunter for the question. I did see with some interest the announcement from the Victorian government on the morning of the ministerial council. I commend my Victorian colleague, Bronwyn Pike, on the timing of her announcement; it certainly maximised the media coverage. In short, yes, I have asked for my department to look at the range of information that the Victorian government is going to provide to see if such an option is possible here in the ACT.

I will just take issue with one part of Ms Hunter’s question: I do not believe the Victorian government has at any point suggested that this would be in place of the federal reporting—it is in addition to. In fact, Minister Pike and the Victorian government are very supportive, as indeed are all states and territories, of the national transparency agenda.

Having said that, yes, I am very interested in what Victoria have put together. They certainly claim it to be nation leading, and whilst I do acknowledge that Victoria has taken a number of steps in many areas of education where they could rightly claim national leadership, the ACT will always be either nipping at their heels or trying to be ahead of them in relation to education reform. Yes, we will be looking very closely at it. I hope to have some advice back from my department before the end of this year.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Minister, what are you doing to allay the concerns expressed by principals at yesterday’s meeting with the federal education minister, Julia Gillard, in relation to the possible publication of simplistic league tables?

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