Page 2636 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 28 June 2011

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MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, are you aware of, and what is your response to, the current demographics of Tharwa village, with record numbers of children under five and yet no local preschool?

MR BARR: I think the two arguments are somewhat illogical in that if there were record numbers of students under five, then there would be sufficient enrolments for the preschool. I am happy to check on that particular statement as to whether it does constitute record numbers. Regardless of how many students there are under five, if they are not enrolled in the preschool, then it is very difficult for the government to run a program if there are not sufficient enrolments.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Bresnan, a supplementary?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, are you aware, and what is your response, that Tharwa preschool curriculum was changed and that it no longer reflects the curriculum of a rural preschool?

MR BARR: The curriculum requirements are there within the ACT curriculum framework that of course is adopted across all schools in the ACT. But we do have a system of school-based autonomy and flexibility within our curriculum framework determined at the school board level. To the extent that there may be a question of a changed curriculum framework and a change to the curriculum at Tharwa preschool, that would be as a result of a decision taken at the local level. But it would have to be consistent with the ACT curriculum framework.

Government—openness and transparency

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, can you please advise the Assembly what your government is doing to promote a greater sense of openness in the provision of government information, transparency and participation for all Canberrans?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. Members will recall that last week I provided to the Assembly a statement about the work that has been begun by the government to build on an open government framework for the people of the ACT. This work does build on the work that was already underway and certainly will progress some of the work that was done by “time to talk: Canberra 2030”.

The aim of promoting this more open government is to ensure greater transparency in our own processes and in information, to provide greater and more meaningful participation by the community so they are at the centre of all of our government processes and to organise better public collaboration in dealing with the solutions we need to address the many issues that are currently before the government and the issues that will be before the government into the future.

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