Page 6071 - Week 14 - Thursday, 9 December 2010

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Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

ACT Teacher Quality Institute Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 18 November 2010, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (11.38): This is an important bill. The ACT is the only jurisdiction in this country to not have a statutory teaching accreditation authority. Tasmania had the Teachers Registration Act governing their teacher registration board as early as 2000. Victoria had its Victorian Institute of Teaching Act in 2001. The New South Wales Institute of Teachers Act came into force in 2004. South Australia introduced the Teachers Registration and Standards Act in 2004. The Western Australian College of Teaching Act came into force in 2004. The Northern Territory introduced the Teacher Registration (Northern Territory) Act in 2004. Queensland instituted the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Act in 2005.

This is quite an indictment of the priorities of this minister for education who continually lectures us about how proactive and progressive he is. He also has been known to mention the fact that he is the longest-serving education minister in the country. Taking all this into account, this once again exposes Mr Barr’s Achilles heel. All the rhetoric and spin of this minister just do not match the reality of the situation once again.

In short, approximately 10 years after Tasmania, nine years after Victoria, six years after New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and five years after the last one of these was introduced, by Queensland, the ACT Labor government, with federal cash inducements to the tune of $8 million over five years and $4 million in this year alone, finally comes to the “facilitated” realisation that the territory needs to catch up with the rest of the country.

This week’s sittings have been littered with acrimonious accusations. The word “lazy” seems to be the flavour of this sitting, bandied about like it is going out of style. Yet when one considers the fact that all teacher accreditation legislation in the other jurisdictions was instituted by state Labor governments, one wonders why, in the ACT, our present ACT Labor government has taken so long to introduce this bill. Perhaps it is because of laziness. The fact that we are seeing a record number of bills being rushed through by this government on this last sitting day seems to bolster this appraisal even more.

The ACT Labor government’s standard procedure, as we have seen in the recent efficiency dividend cuts and the school closures in 2006, is no longer a surprise. The formula is quite simple: wait until the last minute before school holidays and force the agenda when people have little time to properly consider what is being proposed. And when the seat gets a bit too hot to handle for the government, they rely on the Greens for numbers—the third party insurance for the government. This is now standard

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