Page 51 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

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MS BERRY: We have, as I said, a great education system in the ACT because we have great teachers. No amount of money and no policy setting can make up for the quality teaching that these dedicated professionals provide in our schools. Labor is committed to supporting ACT teachers. As part of looking at the future of education in the ACT, Labor will consider how we can increase support to teachers through mentoring, professional development and career pathways.

Our work here will build on the nation-leading professional learning focus of our Teacher Quality Institute. Recently I had the chance to present a number of ACT teachers with certificates acknowledging their attainment of high accomplished and lead level teacher certification. This is yet another area where our ACT school system leads Australia, with comparatively more of our teachers certified at these levels. Labor will directly invest in professional development for teachers by providing 100 scholarships—25 a year over four years—to enable our teachers to undertake postgraduate training in a STEM or language discipline, or alternatively enable experts in these fields to train as teachers.

More fundamentally, Labor knows how important it is that teachers have time to teach. So over the coming four years we will be securing ongoing employment for 66 support staff in schools, to enable teachers to focus on teaching and helping students.

We will continue to invest in our education system to make sure that there are enough teachers, and that teaching resources are allocated to reflect the diversity of need among students.

Transport—light rail

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, can you update the Assembly on progress towards delivering a city-wide light rail network.

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Pettersson very much for his second question in the Assembly. I am pleased to inform him and the Assembly today that we are getting on with the job that we were elected to do.

Construction of our city-wide light rail network is well underway right across all six construction precincts of the project from Gungahlin to Civic. This is part of an exciting new future of improved public transport for Canberra: integrated public transport no matter where you live in our city.

In Gungahlin, the construction office and compound are now complete and operational. Civil engineering design is nearing completion in the Gungahlin and Flemington Road area and construction of the Mitchell light rail depot is well underway. Canberra Metro is making good progress on public realm designs for Northbourne Avenue and Flemington Road. Stop designs for Northbourne and Alinga streets are under development and will be released in 2017.

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