Page 3863 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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DR BOURKE: Minister, how does this new policy link in with other actions you are taking to improve public schools in the ACT?

MS BURCH: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. This ACT government is committed to improving how we communicate with parents, carers and students. This includes the way we present our schools. How we present our system and engage with the community affects the overall perceptions of our public schools.

Our schools are some of the finest in the country, filled with students, teachers, staff and principals doing wonderful and amazing things each and every day, week in and week out. We have been talking about the positive stories and successes of our public schools to complement policy initiatives around parents and children at the centre and the quality teachers that are leading quality learning.

The Canberra public schools webpage and the new promotional video clip were designed based on feedback from parents and carers. The webpage contains information, policies and useful links for parents and carers, presented in a way that suits their needs. We also have the “Parents and students at the centre” and school success stories webpages, which detail some of the wonderful things that are happening in our schools. “Canberra public school alumni” was launched last year to showcase the achievements and successes of some of our past students of note. And a new video clip provides a snapshot of our magnificent schools and commits schools and the system to ensuring that we communicate with parents in a way that works for them.

What we have seen over consecutive school censuses is an increase in students in our public system. Every piece of policy, every improvement in our schools and every approach such as enhancing our school uniform policy raise that pride and will continue to raise the numbers in our public schools.


MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Urban Renewal. Minister, as you know, recently the ACT Heritage Council provisionally registered 17 properties along Northbourne Avenue and surrounds on the ACT heritage register. Consequently, these properties will not be demolished as part of the government’s public housing urban renewal program. On 19 February 2015, the ACT signed an agreement under the federal government’s asset recycling initiative. Under that agreement, the ACT government has certain obligations in relation to its public housing stock and relocating Housing ACT tenants. Minister, what impact will the provisional registration of 17 Northbourne Avenue properties have on the ACT government’s timetable for relocating public housing tenants out of Northbourne Avenue?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Lawder for the question. The timetable did provide sufficient flexibility for a range of unforeseen circumstances, so the advice I have is that it will not impact upon the government’s overall program.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

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