Page 2037 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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MS PORTER: Minister, how will these reforms change the face of education across the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: The implementation of a school resourcing standard means that every child, regardless of what school they attend in the ACT, will be treated the same in relation to a base allocation for funding. I think that is important for the school-age population in Canberra. It is also important for the transient school population that comes in and out of Canberra. In particular, if we look at Defence Force families that move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, they will now, wherever they move across the country, have a base allocation of what will offer their children a reasonable and high quality education.

So it will change and reform education. I think it will remove the divisive debates between non-government and government schools so that we have reached a point where we accept that all children deserve a certain amount of funding to achieve a high quality education. This is something that we support. We also support it on the grounds that all of us as Australians should care and show concern for children who are educated right across the country. At the moment there are thousands of children who are not as fortunate as children in the ACT, who are not receiving the level of funding they deserve and that is going to give them the best shot at life. The ACT government has proudly and consistently supported extra funding going to those children to make sure that those children, even though they do not live in the ACT, get the education that my children and your children are getting here in Canberra, in an education system that is the envy of the nation.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, will you guarantee that Gonski money flowing to the ACT will be no less than money currently received under SPP?

MS GALLAGHER: We are currently negotiating with the commonwealth for an extra allocation of funding flowing through Gonski or the national plan for school improvement but I am not going to pretend that it is going to be rivers of gold, because it is not. It is not going to be the same as what New South Wales kids get. It is not going to be the same as what Victorian kids get.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, my question was very specific. It asked for the Chief Minister to guarantee that the Gonski money will be no less than we are currently receiving under SPP. I would ask her to be directly relevant, yes or no.

MADAM SPEAKER: Standing orders do require ministers to be directly relevant. It was a fairly direct question. Chief Minister.

MS GALLAGHER: And my answer was direct. I said we are negotiating with the commonwealth for extra funding. If Mr Hanson does not understand what that means, I cannot help him any further.

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