Page 2067 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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ACT’s readiness to move to NAPLAN online.” Further on the minister said, “The Education Directorate has provided NAPLAN Online technical and training support to all schools across the ACT.”

On the face of it, that sounds all well and good, and it appears that all education sectors in the ACT are working well towards NAPLAN online implementation. However, I asked the minister about support for non-government schools because in an ACT budget submission the AIS said, “With the commencement of NAPLAN Online in the very near future … it would be prudent of the Government to ensure that all schools will be able to participate in this National Assessment to the same degree. The Association seeks support from the ACT Government to provide funding to ACT Independent Schools to lift each school’s access to broadband network to the level of ACT Government Schools.” That says clearly to me that the ACT AIS has asked government for funding because it doubts it can be ready, while the Minister for Education is saying everything is okay.

I do not know whether this is just another piece in the Greens’ strategy of furiously paddling as fast and as far away as they can from ACT Labor government policies, but as it stands the ACT government, in its collective entirety, has a request before it for some support and the Greens education minister is saying they have all they need. Perhaps this is another example of Minister Rattenbury saddling up his white charger bike to come to the rescue of independent schools and save them from the mean, nasty Labor government who will not help non-government schools get to NAPLAN online in a timely manner.

I hope that NAPLAN online can be rolled out successfully in the ACT, because this is the best and most logical jurisdiction to trial it in. However, I also note that if there are problems with broadband access in some of our non-government schools, surely it is appropriate and sensible that they also receive the support required to ensure their implementation and online capability.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

National disability insurance scheme

Ministerial statement

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability, Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Minister for Veterans and Seniors) (11.00): Madam Speaker, I am pleased to provide the Assembly with a progress report on the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme in the ACT.

When I became minister for disability, one of my first tasks was to table the fourth six-monthly update on the role of ACT government under the NDIS, of February 2016, here in this chamber. Since 2013, the ACT has been preparing for the implementation of the NDIS, and we are on track to be the first jurisdiction to accept all eligible residents into the scheme by the end of the first quarter in 2016-17. During the transitional period, the ACT government never lost sight of the fact that the implementation of the NDIS will transform the way Canberrans living with disability are supported to live their lives how they choose to.

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