Page 3100 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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I am pleased that this government is continuing to invest in Belconnen high, significantly building on the successful building the education revolution investments from the federal government in 2010 to refurbish five classrooms and to implement new training technologies. Of course, this is only stage one of Belconnen high’s modernisation; so I am looking forward to seeing the next stages of this development to ensure that Belconnen high can continue to provide great education to the Belconnen community.

Other investments from this appropriation that Dr Bourke has also mentioned that I am pleased to support include the funding to continue the expansion of Macgregor Primary School, a school that I am particularly proud of and the $200,000 for P&Cs to run canteen programs which will promote healthy food choices for students and promote access to an online ordering system, which I know will be of great help to parents in that early morning rush or early evening rush.

These investments, plus the most significant of all—the commitment to the national education reforms—mean that this government maintains its commitment to good education in Canberra.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (11.56): I am pleased to speak to the budget and to the ACT Labor government’s significant investment in education and training. Labor does understand the power of education to change lives for the better. It is the view of this government that regardless of the circumstance of your birth, you should have the same opportunities in life through education. This is why we have invested significantly in the education system here in the ACT, providing around 13 per cent more education funding than the Australian average.

Over the last 12 years, recurrent funding for public education has increased by over $250 million, or around 90 per cent per capita. Similarly over the same period recurrent funding for non-government schools federally and in the ACT was over $120 million, or an increase of 88 per cent per capita. This has paid off with students achieving the highest levels of education attainment in Australia. Labor continues this investment in the 2013 budget.

The government is continuing to deliver more for education in this budget, with almost $900 million invested in education and training. The funding will support government and non-government schools through funding for the national education reforms, more resources for teachers and students, new capital projects and upgrades to school ICT infrastructure.

Madam Deputy Speaker, the most significant event for education in the ACT is the signing of the national education reform agreement or the better schools plan. I was pleased recently to sign the ACT bilateral agreement which specifies the ACT’s commitment to improving student outcomes. I note with interest that Steve Doszpot continues with disharmony in a sense, or he question the benefits of ACT signing up

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