Page 490 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 21 February 2012

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Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 11.53 am to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Schools—Gonski review

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for education. Minister, I refer to the release of the Gonski review yesterday. Minister, will you provide the Assembly with the government’s position on the review, including what implications the adoption of the review will have on the funding of both government and non-government schools in the ACT? When was the ACT government first made aware of the findings of the review, and what work has been done to date?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his questions; there seem to be a lot of them now.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. Let’s continue with the question.

DR BOURKE: The Gonski review, as everybody knows, was released yesterday. It is a review for the federal government.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Dr Bourke, just continue, thank you.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Gonski review warns us that changes are needed to make sure that our students do not fall behind the rest of the world and to stop the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students growing wider. The essence of Gonski is to produce an equitable distribution of commonwealth funding for students, to produce equitable funding for students that is delivered in a transparent manner. Student funding based on need is the essence of the ACT government’s submission to Gonski. Therefore, our position on Gonski is to be in agreement that there should be a funding scheme which is transparent and which is equitable. We will be working with the commonwealth and stakeholders, through the consultation process which was announced by Prime Minister Gillard yesterday, to develop appropriate outcomes for the ACT, making sure that our students get the best.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question.

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