Page 2146 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013
That concession value is determined through an independent valuation process. I, as minister, have to be satisfied that it is overall in the public interest for that concession to be cashed out, and I do have discretion to refuse that should I believe it to not be warranted. In many instances I do agree to the removal of the concession because the reasons for the grant of a concession have simply been superseded by the events of time. The most recent example that I can give to members is in relation to the application to deconcessionalise an element of part of the lease of the old Canberra south bowling club, which is now occupied by Brumbies Rugby. That concession was paid out in full. They applied for the concession to be cashed out, to pay out the concessional component. They did so after my approval, and that returns the value to the community. (Time expired.)
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: It is possibly to both of the ministers if they both want to answer. Ministers, did you declare a conflict of interest in making these determinations?
MR CORBELL: No. There is no conflict of interest.
MS BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, next week ACT public schools will be celebrating Public Education Week. What activities to do you intend on attending in your capacity as minister for education, and what is the importance of this week in promoting public education as a high-quality choice for parents?
MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her interest in public education. Public Education Week is an annual celebration of public schooling across Australia. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the achievements of the ACT public school system, its teachers, staff and students. In Canberra’s centenary year we particularly celebrate our successes as an education system, a system widely regarded as the best in Australia. It is during this week that public schools across the ACT have the opportunity to show the broader community the work that they do and the high levels achieved by their staff and students. This achievement is reflected in the results of the 2013 ACT census, which shows confidence in the ACT public education system, with enrolments continuing a five-year trend of growth—a two per cent increase on last year.
The ACT consistently performs strongly at a national level in outcomes achieved by our students. These outcomes are achieved through a commitment to continuous improvement. The ACT is well placed to build on the current school reform in the five priority areas that have been identified by all states and territories. These are: quality teaching, quality learning, empowering school leadership, meeting student need and transparency and accountability.
In 2013 we are holding a school leadership conference engaging schools as well as our annual recognition of service awards, presentations that celebrate the contribution of our staff. These events are complemented by schools holding their annual open