Page 3099 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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In the interim I congratulate those in the directorate who remain committed to delivering excellence in education. I congratulate and thank the principals, the teachers and support staff who deliver outstanding service every day, not always under the best of circumstances, in all of our schools, government and non-government. They have the future of our children’s education in their hands, and they take their responsibilities seriously and deliver their expertise with dedication. I thank them for that.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (11.51): I will refer briefly to whatever it was that Mr Doszpot just said. He talked about taking his responsibilities seriously. If he really took his responsibilities seriously, he would resolve his ideological conflict between wanting to have school-based management, which is part of his Liberal ideology, and wanting to tell principals that they must employ school librarians. Come on! This is something that really should have been sorted out in all his years as opposition spokesperson for education. You would think that he would have worked that one out by now.

The ACT government’s 2013-2014 budget responsibly tracks a path back to surplus, while at the same time delivering good government and visionary projects. In education, the government is delivering a great range of initiatives in this budget for both government and non-government schools. In education in Belconnen, I am especially proud that the government is funding in this budget our election commitments to modernise, renew and build new classrooms to again put the facilities at Belconnen high at the forefront of ACT schools. The $2 million in this budget is for the first stage of that upgrade.

Canberra High, Macquarie Primary School and Mount Rogers Primary School all benefit from the budget with ongoing capital works. Students from the West Macgregor development and all students at Macgregor Primary School will enjoy the school extensions and new classrooms funded in this budget.

Ginninderra schools continue to benefit from the rollout of upgrades to improve traffic safety and car park programs, glazing, lighting and security systems. At the same time, we are ensuring Canberrans have the best teachers by supporting our teachers’ professional development through the Teacher Quality Institute.

The Canberra College cares program, or CC cares program, benefits students across Canberra, including from my electorate of Ginninderra. It will make sure Canberra’s pregnant or parenting students have the same educational opportunities as other young people. As a result of the funding in this budget, it will move into a new purpose-built facility we plan to open in 2015 at the Phillip campus of Canberra College. These are just some of the initiatives to ensure Canberra students continue to excel in Australia’s best education system.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (11.54): I too want to speak briefly on this appropriation to recognise the $2 million that has been earmarked for an upgrade to Belconnen High School. Belconnen high has been servicing the Belconnen community for more than 40 years now, providing good-quality public education to thousands of Canberra students.

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