Page 2783 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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Detailed design work will begin immediately with construction of the new administration area, expected to start in February 2016 and to be completed around July. Modernisation of the student learning areas is expected to start in May 2016 and be completed by late 2017. A wing at the rear of the school has already been demolished to make way for these changes. The inclusion of extra funding in the outyears of operation of the new building brings the total spend on Belconnen high up to $18.4 million.

The initiative reflects the government’s focus on modernising our schools. Of course, that modernisation agenda crucially involves information technology. To that end, Belconnen primary schools will benefit from the government’s program to upgrade computers and wi-fi infrastructure. Specialist teams have been going out to primary schools and assessing their current wireless connectivity, identifying priorities for upgrades and how they will be done.

The ACT is implementing a nationally developed digital technologies curriculum in our schools including coding and design aspects. Information and communications technology, ICT, learning is one strategy the government is using to keep Canberra ahead of the curve. We want to ensure the future workforce of our knowledge economy is equipped with a modern, robust education in our clever capital.

The budget also includes $1.7 million for upgrades at CIT in Bruce, reflecting the government’s ongoing commitment to skills and training. CIT is also set to benefit from our investment in renewables. As a result of the wind power auctions, the Bruce campus will become a major trainer of wind turbine maintenance workers.

Of course, the Liberal Party, as we know, has a very different attitude to wind power. In fact, the Abbott government’s recent attack on renewable energy—and the Canberra Liberals seek to model themselves on that government—has particularly targeted wind. These are the role models for the people opposite us. Treasurer Hockey said, “I cannot stand those things.” Of course, we had some commentary yesterday, for instance, in the Financial Review by Laura Tingle—

Mr Doszpot: I have a point of order. Madam Speaker, this, I believe, is about education and Dr Bourke is ranging off into all sorts of directions. Could we ask him to come back?

MADAM SPEAKER: On the point of order—I was thinking about this as I was listening to Dr Bourke—the budget debate is always a wide-ranging debate. That said, I think I should remind Dr Bourke that we in this place are responsible for issues in the ACT and I am not entirely sure that the views of the federal Treasurer on wind farms are particularly appropriate for this debate. I ask him to be more relevant to the issues of the appropriation in the ACT. Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: On the point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, I have ruled.

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