Page 2241 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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our public hospitals, $6.3 million for three additional beds in the neonatal intensive care, paediatric and foetal medicine units at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, $1.3 million to design a multi-storey car park for up to 700 vehicles on the Calvary hospital campus, $8.2 million to complete the planning and forward design stages of the new University of Canberra public hospital, and I am proud that our government is delivering $9 million to expand the new Belconnen health centre.

The upgrades include more high-quality health services, including a nurse-led walk-in centre, breast screening and aged-care and rehabilitation services and community mental health services. This initiative will deliver better health services for the people in my electorate.

In education, the 2013-14 ACT budget invests almost $900 million in ACT schools, including funding for government and non-government schools for the Gonski reforms and for more resources for teachers and students. Last week, the ACT became the second state or territory to sign on for the national education reforms. To meet the increased investment from the commonwealth, the ACT government is delivering more than $34 million over four years in new funding to reflect our contribution and transitional support under the national education reform agreement. The budget includes $2 million to commence the refurbishment of Belconnen High School. This project funds upgrades to six classrooms, the school front office and the school hall.

We are also delivering $5 million over four years for grants to non-government schools to establish and upgrade preschool infrastructure and we are delivering more than $300,000 over four years to assist parents of children entering preschool to engage in the school community and in their child’s education.

I am proud that the ACT Labor government is delivering $14.3 million to build a facility for the Canberra College cares program at the Canberra College’s Phillip campus. Canberra College cares is a fantastic program that allows pregnant and parenting students to complete their studies. The new facility will provide learning spaces and facilities, giving these students the best opportunity for an education.

We are also investing $3.5 million over four years to provide support to experienced teachers to increase their professional qualifications and undertake research during their careers.

The 2013-14 budget balances tough economic times with the need to invest in projects that will transform our city into its second century. We are building upon our strengths in education and health, delivering new infrastructure and better services, and we are working with the commonwealth government on the important education and disability care reforms. The Gallagher government is delivering on its commitment to make Canberra even stronger.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.23): Madam Speaker, the opposition will not be supporting this motion. It is the sort of motion that you get from a government that is desperate to make a case, because the budget cannot stand on its own. We already see today the inability of the government to involve itself in debate about the budget. Of course, Mr Barr, in a cowardly act, refused to debate the opposition at the breakfast

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