Page 5802 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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The ACT has also been contributing to the development of national professional standards for teachers and school principals. These standards will ensure consistency in teacher standards across all Australian jurisdictions. Improvements to teacher quality will underpin the success of other educational national partnerships. Improvements in literacy and numeracy and low socioeconomic status schools will build on and benefit from efforts to improve teacher quality.

Education is a driver of excellence and achievement. It makes an enormous difference to an individual’s health and wellbeing and potential outcomes. Education also impacts on our regional social cohesion and impacts on the level of participation in the community and economic prosperity. Teachers are our most important educational asset. We must recognise our high performing teachers and give them the chance to progress through appropriate career paths at a speed that they find stimulating and rewarding.

I am pleased that, with today’s motion, this Assembly is able to acknowledge the commitment, passion and professional expertise of our teachers, noting some of the initiatives that contribute to strengthening the teaching profession in the ACT.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Taxation—GST review

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. On 31 March this year Ms Gallagher stated in relation to the GST review:

We will be putting enormous energy into arguing the ACT’s case as part of this review.

Last month you were forced to admit that the ACT government was the only state or territory government not to lodge a submission with the GST distribution review more than a month after the due date. Given the critical importance of the GST distribution review, why was the deadline missed?

MR BARR: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. Members may recall that during the process of establishing and conducting this review the federal government also conducted a federal tax forum, and a key part of that federal tax forum was a detailed discussion of state and territory finances, state-territory-commonwealth fiscal relations and a number of other issues relevant to the consideration of the GST review panel.

Members would also be aware that the ACT sought an extension for its submission. Members may not be aware, but I do believe the shadow treasurer probably would be because he asked me a question on this in relation to our annual report hearings only a

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