Page 2041 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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Canberra to promote the higher education side and develop that side of our economy here further. That is exactly what the ACT government will be doing, and I will be leading that work.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: We have yet to hear you stand up publicly for the university sector, Chief Minister, so what analysis have you done or will you do to determine the impact that these cuts will have on the money spent by students in Canberra?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, this government has taken the decision that we will be putting our effort into promoting and attracting students here to the ACT. That is the priority for this government. That is the priority with the work that I am doing with the vice-chancellors, and that will be our focus. I am not going to sit down and analyse and spend money on modelling impacts of another government’s decision when I could be out selling Canberra and selling ourselves as an education destination. When I have a look, in the time available to me, at the work that I am doing and the priorities that I have, the best use of our dollars and our time—and yours, Mr Doszpot, indeed—is to go out and promote and let people know what a great place Canberra is to come and work and study. That is the best use of all of our time.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, on ABC radio today Minister Barr said, I understand, that the territory had already secured funding for Gonski and the NDIS. Is this correct?

MS GALLAGHER: We have secured funding for the NDIS and, I have been clear, we are extremely hopeful of signing on the dotted line in relation to the national plan for school improvement. And we cannot do nothing, because what you do not seem to understand is that we have to reach agreement. If we do not reach agreement, there will be no money for education coming from the commonwealth and then we have a much bigger problem to deal with.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Chief Minister, if there are fewer students in the ACT, what impact will this have on the retail sector?

MS GALLAGHER: There are not fewer students in the ACT. If you listened to the debate on Mr Seselja’s MPI yesterday, there are more students in the ACT. So one would presume from that that it is having a positive impact on the retail sector.

Education—student survey

MS BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, can you inform the Assembly what the recent survey of ACT year 12 graduates says about their career and further education prospects and what implications this has for education in the ACT?

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