Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2011) . . Page.. 5605 ..
So I thank the committee for its interest in this. I will read the report and provide comment as necessary.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Education Amendment Bill 2011
Debate resumed from 27 October 2011, on motion by Mr Barr:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (5.54): I advise the Assembly that the Liberals will be supporting this bill. As the minister has already outlined, the bill amends the Education Act 2004 as a consequence of two changes in public preschool education. Public preschools in the ACT have been amalgamated with public schools and included in the national quality framework following the introduction of the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011. The Education and Care Services National Law Act 2011 implements the national quality framework across the majority of education and care services in the ACT and for the first time ACT public preschool units will be licensed and regulated under this legislation.
Under the act, public preschools were previously excluded under the definition of schools. These amendments remove that exclusion. ACT government preschools are delivered and funded by the ACT Department of Education and Training. The non-government preschool sector will continue to be licensed and accredited as they currently are through the Community Services Directorate. They will transition to the Education and Care Services National Law Act and will not be impacted by the Education Amendment Bill.
We have been advised that there are no unintended consequences as a result of these amendments, particularly childcare rebates for children in preschool and long day care.
The legislation is, as indicated, quite straightforward but I would not wish such approval to be misinterpreted. There are some issues in education, particularly the preschools, and more broadly the management and administration of education in the territory. Since my election in 2008, I have championed education issues for both the government and non-government school sectors.
Education has not been treated well under the current administration and, it has to be said, not well under ACT Labor administration spanning nearly 11 years. There has been hardly a month when there has not been an issue that has highlighted the continued lack of consultation by this government and in particular this minister.
In my short time, we have seen ongoing trauma and angst on a range of issues. Let me list but a few of the issues: school closures and the poor communication and consultation that surrounded it, the lack of support for school principals while constantly espousing the notion of school autonomy, the failure to support special needs education, the reduction in the number of teachers for the visually and hearing