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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 September 2015) . . Page.. 3298 ..

In the bigger picture, our work is paying off for young people. Participation in sport or recreational activities increased to 90 per cent in 2013-14. The rate of young people who volunteer has increased to be one of the highest in Australia. The number of secondary students reporting alcohol, tobacco or drug use has declined and fewer young people are coming into the youth justice system.

I can also tell you that the ACT’s rate of transition to further education or training continues to be higher than the national average. We have seen the apparent retention rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students continuing from year 10 to 12 increase by 20 per cent since 2009. We have seen 31 senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students receiving scholarships.

While such achievements demonstrate that this government is delivering for young people, this progress is also enhancing the livability of our capital. These achievements are signposts for us as a community about what is needed to build a stronger and more inclusive community. So we know where we are heading. This final report on the young people’s plan demonstrates that, while we have established a sound base, our work must continue to ensure that all young people, inclusive of their circumstances, are safe, strong and connected. This work is underway.

Madam Speaker, we know that the rate of unemployment has increased for our young people. That is why education remains one of the government’s biggest priorities in 2015. Our commitment of $1.1 billion to education—the largest ever in the ACT—will set us on the right path to deliver the quality education and vocational training our young people need to remain competitive in these challenging times. Our endorsement of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agreement is an agreement that will help to build strong foundations, resilient families, and will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to achieve their life goals.

Young people living with disability continue to need support to overcome barriers of social inclusion. Here too the ACT government is taking action. The ACT will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to have all eligible people under the national disability insurance scheme. Already, by the end of the year, all children and young people living with a disability will be eligible to have a funded support plan under this scheme.

We know too that young people who have experienced family violence or neglect or disconnection are extremely vulnerable. That is why the ACT government has made an investment of more than $39 million over four years with a step up for our kids to break the cycle of disadvantage and keep young people safe in their homes. We recognise that some young people are struggling to have their voices heard, particularly young people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities. This is why we have commenced the safe schools coalition, so that all students feel safe and supported in their school and are not bullied or harassed on the basis of their sexuality.

The ACT government has a commitment to greater social inclusion. We want Canberra to be a city where everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can have

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