Page 485 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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that support unit. I have nothing in front of me to say that there are any concerns about the management of those students requiring that additional support. If there is something, I am quite happy to bring it back, but, in the scheme of things, what I have in front of me is that there are no concerns and the department would manage it within resources.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: What evidence did the directorate rely on to reduce the 2012-13 allocation from the previous year’s allocation of 450?

MS BURCH: It is my understanding that these annual targets reflect practice. If they have amended a goal or a target, that would have been on historic evidence within the directorate about the use and the pressures on that particular unit. That is what I am assuming. If that is wrong, I am quite happy to come back and correct it.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what assurances can you provide families that, in the event that demand exceeds the budgeted 400 places, additional moneys and program support will be forthcoming?

MS BURCH: I have every confidence that the department would respond to those pressures over the 84-plus schools and, I think, 40,000 students across ACT government schools. Certainly, pressures would change over time. Year to year there will be different pressures as students enrol in the system or exit out of the system. Those pressures would change. Nothing has come to me to say that students are turned away and do not receive the support that they need within the system. In fact, I would say that our education system is one of those that need to be commended for its response to students and families, for the support in place and what they offer.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what contingent provisions have been made to meet the cost of providing additional places?

MS BURCH: I think I have answered that in saying that this is a large organisation that has different pressure points across a number of students, whether it is very early in the early years, in primary years or in secondary years. But there is nothing in front of me. If you have a concern, Mr Doszpot, I am quite happy for you to write to me and articulate your concern.

Mr Doszpot: I would like you to take it on notice if you cannot answer it now.

MS BURCH: No. I would rather you come to me with particular concerns that you have. Your question was general in the sense of what contingencies are in place to respond.

Mr Coe: Point of order.

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