Page 408 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 12 February 2013

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Mr Doszpot criticises me for selective reporting of elements of the ROGS data. I would say in his address to this Assembly today he did not mention ESA, police, child protection, disability, early childhood education or homelessness. These are all areas where the ACT government performs and, if not leading the way, is right there leading with other jurisdictions.

I do make an emphasis around education. I think we should be proud of those education results but, again, that is not to say that you do not want to see those results improve and that you do not focus on areas where you can see opportunity for improvements. I think Mr Doszpot is right to raise Indigenous education. I have just read the last—I think Ms Burch must be tabling it this week—six-monthly report into Indigenous education. There are results in that that I am not happy with and I am seeking further information from the directorate about why we are seeing that. Some of it is to do with small numbers where you have fluctuations from year to year. There are always explanations around that for populations of our size. Complacency in this area would not be rewarded. The only way you are going to drive improvements in education is to keep focused and to measure your performance.

This is only one report of many that are done into government services. All governments report against performance indicators. We have the budget, we have annual reports, we have quarterly performance reports and we have requirements, certainly in Health, for performance reporting in a number of different areas. This is only one of those reports. The government does use it, does read it, does examine it and does analyse areas where we are not doing well and why we might not be doing well. But I think we should also acknowledge that there are areas in this report where we are doing well and we should stop talking down the ACT public service. The ACT public service serves us very well. Again, I am not saying that to avoid some of the more difficult results in this report.

In education, I think we should be proud that the equal highest NAPLAN results are in the ACT in years 3, 5, 7 and 9. I think we should be proud that we have got the highest high school participation rates of all jurisdictions for 14 to 19-year-olds—that is something we should celebrate—that we have the second highest year 12 completion rates, that we are doing well in VET, that we have got really high proportions of students who are ICT literate and that we are doing very well against the national average.

In health, we should be happy that we have got a relatively healthy population. We should be celebrating the fact that in mental health services some of our most vulnerable members of the community are being followed up within seven days of leaving hospital—we are leading the way—and that we have very low re-presentation rates of psychiatric patients within 28 days of discharge. I know that is not as interesting as emergency department waiting times, but that is a very vulnerable population subset of a health patient or consumer group that is being dealt with very well by the ACT government. We have very high levels of satisfaction from people who receive ACT public hospital services and we have very good levels of childhood immunisation rates—again, something that protects the whole community from very nasty illnesses should we take our eye off the ball.

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