Page 1732 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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Of course, this is the scheme that was opposed by those opposite. They voted against this scheme that delivers savings to households. They voted against a scheme that cuts household electricity bills. They voted against a scheme that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, it would appear that they are going to head towards voting against a scheme which will deliver the same savings to those in the small business sector.

This government will be pursuing that proactive agenda that saves small business money, that cuts their electricity bills, that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time this government will continue with its program to support the deployment of renewables, to support the uptake of renewable energy, to create jobs in the renewable energy sector in our city, because that is the future for our city, a very important part of the future of our city, and it is this Labor government that is leading that change.


MS PORTER: Madam Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, can you update the Assembly on the 2013 ACT school census and what enrolment trends it shows?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her question. I am pleased to be able to update the Assembly on the release of the February census of ACT schools. The results of the school census show a great confidence in the ACT public education system, with public school enrolments continuing a five-year trend of growth, with 40,879 students for February of this year. This is a two per cent increase on the previous year.

The largest increase was in the public primary school sector, with a growth of three per cent, although the public high schools also showed a good growth of 1½ per cent. Since 2008, the public primary school enrolments have increased by 11 per cent. After a decline of high school enrolments from 2008 to 2011, enrolments have increased over the past two years.

It is pleasing to see the community support for our public schools reflected in strong enrolments in our two newest schools, the Franklin Early Childhood School and the Neville Bonner Primary School, new schools delivered on time and under budget. The Neville Bonner Primary School opened with 216 enrolments. It provides essential public preschool and primary school facilities for the north Gungahlin region, particularly for residential growth in the suburbs of Bonner and Forde. The school will eventually enrol up to 560 students.

In total, there are 68,825 students enrolled in ACT public and non-government schools, an increase of 1,289 students since February of last year. The public schools have accounted for 59.4 per cent of all enrolments. Enrolments in non-government schools have also grown, showing that ACT parents have an excellent selection of quality schools from which to choose. The total number of enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students has increased by six per cent in a year, up 40 per cent from 2008.

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