Page 5828 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 7 December 2011

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MS HUNTER: Minister, can you outline how the gap between the proportions of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who attain the minimum standard is in general increasing in the ACT?

DR BOURKE: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. One of the things that the directorate has been working with is the aspirations program. This is a policy designed to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and encourage them to aspire. It works particularly with students in year 11 and year 12; the aim is to encourage those students to increase their year 12 attendance, participation and success.

Personal explanation

MR SMYTH (Brindabella): Under standing order 46, I wish to make a personal explanation.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: During the supplementary on the state of the ACT economy question, I asked about the trend data that was available today and was accused of picking the worst data available to make my case. The reason for using trend data was this. I refer to the ABS bulletin today. ABS bulletin 5206.0 of today’s date says at paragraph 13:

Given the qualifications regarding the accuracy and reliability of the quarterly national accounts, the ABS considers that trend estimates provide the best guide to the underlying movements, and are more suitable than either the seasonally adjusted or original data for most business decisions and policy advice.

So Mr Barr has used the least suitable data to justify his case.

Teachers—enterprise bargaining

Debate resumed.

MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (3.14): Once again I see that Ms Porter has been put up as the defender of the indefensible for the education portfolio. Let me say that this would have to be the most bald-faced, galling attempt at gloss and spin in the Assembly this year, and that takes some doing among the Melbourne Cup field for that title from the other side of the chamber. Here we have a motion that is so misrepresentative of recent history that you have to wonder whether Ms Porter was missing for the best part of this year or is on some sort of penalty for choosing to stay on the Labor backbench. As I said in a previous motion when she was dragged up to defend the indefensible, yet again related to the education portfolio, Ms Porter, I thought better of you.

My comments today are not directed at the member in whose name this motion appears; they are directed at this government that have mismanaged the enterprise bargaining negotiations so badly that they could almost be a candidate for penalty under Ms Bresnan’s bullying bill.

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