Page 2370 - Week 06 - Thursday, 10 May 2012

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MR HARGREAVES: My question to the minister is: did the property values in Gowrie go up when Mr Seselja moved out of it and took his public art with him?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, again this is an abuse of the supplementary questions to try and protect a minister from having to answer questions. Mr Hargreaves has asked a question which is clearly out of order and does not relate to the principal question as a means of using up one of the questions.

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, there were two phrases used in all of the questions preceding mine. One was “property values” and the other was “public art”. I used both of those in my question.

MR SPEAKER: The question is clearly out of order, Mr Hargreaves, and I remind you to ask questions that are actually within the scope of the minister’s responsibility. Mr Doszpot has a further question without notice.

Education—English as a second language review

MR DOSZPOT: Mr Speaker, my question is addressed to the minister for education.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! I cannot hear Mr Doszpot. Please, he is your own colleague. Mr Doszpot, would you start again.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, in response to a motion passed in the Assembly in March, the government committed to review ESL/EALD programs in schools, and the report was tabled last week. Given the numbers of students—over 50 per cent—falling below the average language performance rating of a native English speaking student, what plans does the government have to address this gap?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question. The government continues to prioritise the needs of English as an additional language of dialect students. Each year funding for the students continues to increase progressively and has done so for the last five years. Over the last two years funding has also been reallocated to ensure more students receive support.

On top of that, last year an additional $245,000 of funding was allocated to the ESL staffing budget from within the directorate budget. This supplements the system-generated allocation and the 2008 ACT government election commitment of $3.144 million over four years.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how has this ESL funding kept pace with the increased enrolments on a per student basis and will the ESL action plan time lines be met in respect of this strategic priority?

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