Page 2545 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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number of occupations. The government implores all Canberrans to get behind their CIT but it is hard for many to do so when you have so many promises delivered by government during election periods that do not get delivered on time. When you have courses like Auslan, that my colleague Ms Lawder spoke about at length, that are on again and off again almost at a whim, and when you consider the impact that that “almost at a whim” approach has on the community, on people who have enough problems to contend with, we find that they are still left in uncertainty about how they can progress areas on which they are desperately in need of further assistance.

With respect to graphic design courses that, almost overnight, go from being an affordable option to an expensive course, the only justification or explanation for hiking up the fees is that students can go on the “never-never” pay arrangement of VET FEE-HELP. From memory, the fee went from $1,800 to in the vicinity of $18,000—an incredible difference. No doubt the minister will clarify the exact nature of the increase but it was a huge amount, and without any reasonable explanation apart from perhaps not wanting students to take up that course. But far be it from me to suggest that anything so devious would be planned by Ms Burch.

CIT now has a new board and will soon have a new CEO. I trust the selection process is a rigorous one and that perhaps the new CIT board takes this opportunity to bring in new blood to herald the start of what I hope is a new and exciting phase in the history of CIT in Canberra.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (11.05): I am pleased to speak on the appropriation for CIT because it is another aspect of this budget that is delivering for Canberra both now and into the future. As the ACT’s largest training provider and the only public provider, CIT has a unique place in our community. For many years now CIT has been the provider of choice for thousands of Canberra families who are seeing to gain skills, who are re-skilling or who are upskilling through every stage of their life.

When I think of the work and outcomes of CIT I truly believe that there is no one aspect of our economy or our community that is not better because of the efforts of CIT and the training and opportunities that it provides. We need only to have, indeed, our morning shower, our morning coffee, take our car to work and switch on our power to get a glimpse of the training that CIT provides.

Everyone in this chamber who has visited Fashfest has seen firsthand the high quality training and education that CIT delivers and what it equips and inspires our students to do. CIT has a rightly deserved reputation for quality in the ACT and it enjoys the trust and respect of students and staff as well as of employers and industry groups. Indeed last year the statistics show a student satisfaction rate of 91 per cent and an employer satisfaction rate of 85 per cent. Members will also be pleased to note that CIT graduates have an employment rate post-training of 87 per cent. This is well above the national average and has been the case for some time.

If CIT, however, is to continue this success and if the community is to continue to benefit from the high quality vocational education and skills training that CIT

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