Page 1734 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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Opposition members interjecting—

MS BURCH: Madam Speaker, I find it offensive—that sniggering and nastiness that comes across from that side.

I am pleased to see the community embracing public education in the ACT, with a fifth straight year of increased enrolments. This shows that parents have strong confidence in our education system as a whole.

The ACT government recognises that educational choice is healthy and ACT parents are able to choose schools on the basis of family beliefs and values.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

Ms Gallagher interjecting—

MS BURCH: It is quite clear, Madam Speaker, that the Canberra Liberals have no interest in public education.

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! Ms Burch, can you sit down please. Mr Hanson and Ms Gallagher, you will desist from exchanges and finger pointing across the chamber and interrupting other people speaking. Minister Burch has the floor. It is impossible to hear her over the two of you, so show some courtesy to the members of this place and do not interject like that. Ms Burch, I am sorry; I do not know whether you concluded or not. I could not hear what you were saying.

MS BURCH: I will be very brief, Madam Speaker. It is this government’s intention to deliver quality education through the best education system in the nation, an ambition that sets the ACT apart as the learning capital of Australia and a global leader in school education. This ambition relates to all phases of education, from our early childhood and primary schools, our high schools and our colleges, our specialist schools for students with disabilities, through to the ACT training and tertiary sectors.

The findings from the 2012 satisfaction survey for ACT public schools are positive, with a high proportion of parents, staff and students satisfied, highly satisfied, with the public education on offer here.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how important is it to continue to support ACT public school students, and in turn their families, into the future?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman for his question. It is quite critical. This government is on record, for the past decade, for investing in education here in the ACT.

Mr Doszpot interjecting—

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