Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 May 2017) . . Page.. 1455 ..
MR WALL: Minister, did your incoming minister’s brief contain information about the electrical system at the Canberra Hospital being at high and extreme risk; and, for the purposes of this question, ministerial briefs as both assistant minister and minister?
MS FITZHARRIS: Certainly to my knowledge, I do not recall. As Assistant Minister for Health I was not responsible for the Canberra Hospital. With reference to the incoming minister’s brief, I was certainly given briefings on the ongoing implementation of budget initiatives which included a $23 million upgrade to the electrical systems at Canberra Hospital. But I will take on notice the specifics of the question.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, were your predecessors, Mr Corbell and Ms Gallagher, warned about the electrical systems at the Canberra Hospital being at high and extreme risk?
MS FITZHARRIS: I cannot speak for what previous ministers were briefed on.
MR STEEL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. Can the minister please update members on work towards a strategy for the future of education in the ACT?
MS BERRY: I thank Mr Steel for his question on education in the ACT. As members know, in February this year I outlined in a ministerial statement the start of work on a strategy for the future of education in the ACT. Equity is at the core of the work in developing that strategy. Members might like to take a moment to reflect on what equity means.
We all know about equality: the idea that everybody gets the same. By contrast, equity is about fairness and justice. It is about recognising that, no matter what we do, everyone will not always get the same and, more importantly, everybody does not need the same. Differences in background, circumstance and characteristics should not limit the opportunity each of us has in life; and our schools must recognise and support diversity in our community to make sure that this is the case.
So in kicking off work on the strategy I have established a core group of community partners to help the government stay true to this value. I am grateful to have Susan Helyar, the Director of the ACT Council of Social Service, Dr John Hattie, Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne, Dr Chris Sarra, founder and Chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute and Professor of Education at the University of Canberra—and a highly recognised education leader focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students—Cathy Hudson, a board member of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, and Dr John Falzon, the national CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society—one of Australia’s most respected voices on social justice and equity. I was happy to convene the first meeting on the future of education with these community partners a few weeks ago.