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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2010) . . Page.. 52 ..

individual learning plans for Indigenous students and back this with placing accomplished and leading teachers in these schools.

These are comprehensive plans to improve the education of every student in the ACT. They deserve the unanimous support of this Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Hunter?

MS HUNTER: The minister for education has just outlined a whole lot of programs that really go to the heart of literacy and numeracy—

MR SPEAKER: No preamble, thank you.

MS HUNTER: What I would like to know is: from what you have outlined, are you encouraging teachers to teach to the NAPLAN test or are you actually looking at the whole of a child’s education and the need to have a rich education that, of course, includes literacy and numeracy?

MR BARR: Literacy and numeracy are the fundamental building blocks of a quality education. It is very difficult to succeed in other areas of education whenever you do not have those basic building blocks. So they are critical, absolutely critical, to achieving success in education. That said, national testing is not the be-all and end-all of the government’s approach to improving literacy and numeracy outcomes and, indeed, to improving educational outcomes; nor will it become the total focus of education in the ACT.

But it is important that we do focus on those basic elements of education. I believe it is fundamental to the success of students in so many other areas of education and so many other areas of life. If you cannot read, if you cannot write, if you cannot spell, you will struggle to do well in so many other areas of life.

Hospitals—Calvary Public Hospital

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, you proposed to spend $77 million of taxpayers’ funds to purchase Calvary hospital to achieve—to use your own words—the return of a significant asset “to our balance sheet as an asset for the ACT community”. Treasurer, what advice did you ask for, and from whom, on what options are available to the ACT government to invest additional funds in Calvary hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: What advice did I ask for, and from whom, around how to invest additional funds in Calvary?

Mrs Dunne: Yes.

MS GALLAGHER: In addition to the purchase of the hospital?

Mr Seselja: As an alternative.

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