Page 3227 - Week 10 - Thursday, 17 September 2015

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program. It will analyse the effectiveness of existing ACT government initiatives and programs in increasing the number of children who walk and ride to school. The pilot program will also compare a number of new initiatives resulting in a comprehensive analysis to be able to guide future investment in this area.

There are four pilot schools involved in this program—Macquarie, Macgregor, Latham and Mount Rogers. The government and the schools will implement different measures at different sites and they will be evaluated for their effectiveness. The measures proposed for the trial include infrastructure measures such as slow 30-kilometre an hour zones, dragons teeth line markings, road crossings and parking restrictions. There are also parent engagement campaigns aimed at increasing parent knowledge about the infrastructure investment and to encourage more parents to consider riding or walking to school options.

In bringing up these topics it will possibly seem a little way from the core issue of modernising schools in established suburbs, but the point I wanted to make is that there is the obvious angle about the need to make sure that we keep our facilities up to date—and other members have spoken to those points today—but it is also about how the school fits into the community and how people access the school and that, as we design our new schools, these things are taken into account. I guess as new ideas and trends emerge we need to implement these ideas into some of our more established schools. I thank Ms Fitzharris for bringing on the matter of public importance today. I look forward to further discussions in this area.

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) (4.14): I thank Ms Fitzharris for providing an opportunity in this place to talk about our schools and recognising the importance of schools, new schools and existing schools, and the role that they play not only in educating our young but also in creating the next generation, as well as being very important and valued pieces of community infrastructure.

As minister, I place a high priority on the importance of modernising and strengthening schools in established suburbs. The government has historically invested heavily in education across the territory. It is important to maintain our national leadership role in education and improve outcomes for all Canberrans. This ACT government will continue to deliver on its commitment, targeting investment to provide the best possible education for every child, regardless of their ability, background or the challenges they face.

The government is delivering new schools where they are needed. Funding was provided in this year’s budget to consider new schools in Molonglo and north Gungahlin. The new Charles Weston primary school in Coombs, which I have spoken about in this place, and which will be the 87th public school, will cater for more than 700 students and will be ready for day one next year.

The government is also continuing to invest in our existing schools. This includes expansion to respond to enrolment growth and new facilities for special programs. Just this year both the Canberra College cares facility and the Tuggeranong

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