Page 375 - Week 01 - Thursday, 16 February 2012

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have the skills to take on the world. On this side of the Assembly, we recognise that the education landscape is changing and information technology is now integral to the way teachers teach and students learn.

There are new challenges but, more importantly, new opportunities to develop the skill base needed in the modern global economy. Labor has responded by making a significant investment in information and communications technology. The government has provided significant capital investment in ICT initiatives of around $40 million since 2006-07, with recurrent funding continuing to increase. This is a 28 per cent boost on those previous levels.

Importantly though, through the $28 million in the smart school, smart students initiative, we have delivered optic fibre cabling to all public schools in Canberra. Wireless networks are now installed across Canberra schools, ensuring that the ACT is a leader in providing students and teachers with access to the latest technology and all this entails in terms of learning resources.

We have also committed significant investment to public primary schools for capital investment in ICT infrastructure, including interactive whiteboards, computers, renewing educational and administrative applications, implementing online services to enhance digital learning opportunities and centralising corporate business systems. I am also proud to note that ACT teachers are leading the way when it comes to computer innovation. We already have the highest per capita use of ICT systems and software by teachers in Australia. We are leading the country.

Mr Speaker, this is a government that has invested in upgrading every school. We have invested in making every school a better place to teach and a better place to learn. We have invested in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong, at Woden and Weston, in central Canberra and Belconnen. We will continue to invest in providing ACT students and their families with the best possible schools infrastructure. I am proud to be part of a government and a party that holds education so close to the core of its existence.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion is concluded.

Personal explanations

MR SMYTH (Brindabella): I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: A personal explanation?

MR SMYTH: Yes, on the ground that I have been misrepresented.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. During question time Ms Burch, when answering a question on the community sector wage decision, said:

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