Page 1140 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 28 March 2017

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MR WALL: Minister, how many face-to-face meetings have you had with either the Association of Independent Schools or the Catholic Education Office about their input into the future of education discussion paper?

MS BERRY: I personally have not met with independent schools recently. Members in my office have. I have spoken with the Catholic Education Office following unfortunate events earlier this year. Certainly they are welcome and will be invited to be part of the future of education conversation.

MS LEE: Minister, when will you be seeking input from the non-government school sector who are the providers of education to almost 29,000 students in the ACT?

MS BERRY: Everybody who is a stakeholder in education—whether that is the independent schools, the Catholic schools, the public schools; whether they are members of our community, teachers, students, or other people in the community who have a part to play in the education of our children—is welcome to be part of the conversation around the future of education. I made very clear in my statement in the Assembly that I wanted the conversation to focus around equity issues in education, how we could properly engage children who might be disconnected and families who might be disengaged or disadvantaged in some way, and how they could be better supported in our school system, particularly through early childhood education. We all know that every child who has a good start in early childhood education has a better chance at all the other opportunities that they have for a successful and happy life where they are engaged in our community.

There is no exclusion zone on any of this conversation and I can assure members that the independent schools, the Catholic schools and, importantly, the public education system schools will be involved and part of this conversation as well as children, students, parents and the broader community.

Ms Lee: On a point of order, Madam Speaker, the question was: when will you be seeking input? I do not think that was answered in the entirety of the minister’s response.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you Ms Lee. I believe that she has responded appropriately. There is no point of order. She made reference to time lines and it is yet to be determined.


MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, how is the ACT government using the levers in its control to improve housing affordability—for both renters and buyers—in the ACT?

MS BERRY: The ACT government is continuing to build on its record of initiatives to make housing more affordable for all Canberrans. The government’s affordable housing action plan has been a key driver of this work, directing carefully planned efforts to respond to housing demand and moderate house prices and rent increases.

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