Page 3097 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 16 September 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, has the school been given a name and, if so, what is its significance?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest. I am pleased to announce that the new school in Coombs will be named Charles Weston school in honour of Thomas Charles George Weston MBE who was commonly known as Charles Weston. He was born in England and trained as a horticulturalist before moving to Australia in 1896. Charles Weston was prominent in the development of Canberra. He was the officer in charge of afforestation from 1913 to 1926. During his time in the role he carried out extensive scientific breeding trials to increase the number of species that might grow in Canberra. Weston was responsible for the establishment of the first plantation forest on Mount Stromlo and for the planting of nearly 1.2 million trees across Canberra.

The school is located in Molonglo, adjacent to Mount Stromlo and not far from our National Arboretum. The name Charles Weston school is important as it distinguishes the school from Captain George Weston after whom Weston Creek is named. Professor John Langford is delighted to support the naming of the school in honour of his great-grandfather. I look forward to the opening of the school in 2016.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, why is it important that the ACT government continue to plan for future school development in the growth areas of Canberra?

MS BURCH: The government has a strong track record of ensuring that all students have access to quality public education, particularly in Canberra’s new residential growth areas. The Education and Training Directorate works to meet the challenge of providing school infrastructure for new residential areas throughout, through the implementation of its school infrastructure program. The directorate’s school infrastructure program includes planning for future school development in the new areas and also includes projecting future growth areas enrolments and ensuring that there is suitable land allocated for new schools.

In delivering this program, the directorate consults with a range of other directorates, including planning and Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development to ensure that there is sufficient educational infrastructure to support our growing city. The future focus school infrastructure program also allows the government to meet the challenges associated with education infrastructure in the growth areas and to maintain high quality schools in our existing suburbs.


MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, what directorate staff, including NSET staff, made visits to the primary school at which a cage was constructed between 20 February and 27 March this year?

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