Page 3101 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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to the better schools reform. He seems to sidestep the fact that just recently the leader of the federal opposition described himself as on a unity ticket on better schools reform and has said that these reforms will be supported.

However, there are some weasel words there, because he has only made a commitment for four years. The agreements, as we all know, are for six years. Mr Doszpot is refusing to accept their ongoing support for this. Federally, they are now on a unity ticket, particularly with Victoria joining New South Wales and other states in signing up to this, understanding that these agreements are for six years.

If the shadow opposition minister for education wants to ensure that all schools have certainty, one of the big things he can do is to say to his federal counterparts, “Cannot we give our ACT schools certainty over a six-year period?” He went to great pains around mentioning the ANU and possible impacts on other universities, but he made no mention of the better schools reform providing a $28 million investment in the University of Canberra through the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

He also has failed to mention that not only has the ACT government signed up, it considers that we got a fair deal, as every other state has received a fair deal. The independent schools and the Catholic schools here have also embraced the sign-up. There is no-one, other than Mr Doszpot and his colleagues sitting over there, that has a negative word to say about better school reform.

Mr Doszpot: Was it Gonski or better school reform?

MS BURCH: This national reform in education is a once-in-a-generation plan.

Mr Doszpot: The essence of Gonski; it seems to have disappeared, doesn’t it?

MS BURCH: It will position Australia as one of the top—

Mr Doszpot: What has happened to Gonski?

MS BURCH: Madam Deputy Speaker, they always say when they hit the gutter that we are on the wrong plan. They are just hitting the gutter over there. It is well known that Mr Doszpot’s approach to education policy and reform is so dense that even light will bend around it. The national reforms—

Mr Doszpot: I would stake my reform against yours any day.

MS BURCH: He continues to mutter over there. I think I heard you in peace and respect, Mr Doszpot—


MS BURCH: The national reforms will position Australia as one of the highest performing countries in the world in numeracy, literacy and science. Building on the ACT’s current reform agenda, the agreement includes five national reform objectives in the areas of quality teaching, quality learning, empowered school leadership,

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