Page 1554 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2017

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MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Lawder for her supplementary. There was some discussion with Westfield in regard to another part of the area that it leased off the ACT government in regard to parking but that was quite some time ago. I will take the detail of that on notice as well and come back to the Assembly with that.

Education—school funding

MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development. Minister, last Tuesday the federal government announced changes to the way schools across Australia are funded through the newly dubbed “Gonski 2.0”. These changes will mean that 35 schools across the ACT will receive less funding than they do now in 10 years time, with many other local schools receiving only marginal increases in their funding over the 10 outyears. Minister, what is the government’s position on this new funding model for the ACT?

MS BERRY: On Tuesday, prior to the announcement being made by the federal government, I had a 10-minute conversation with the federal minister for education about the federal government’s funding proposal. It was very light on detail—and it continues to be very light on detail—about the funding and how a reform program would be implemented as a part of that funding agreement.

Immediately after that phone call my office had a conversation with the independent schools association and the Catholic Education Office just to touch base with them following the announcement as it was made. It was a surprise to everybody, because nobody knew that the announcement was going to be made in that way, with very little consultation with anybody across the country or with anybody in any of the school systems.

Following on from that the federal education minister did a big presentation at the Press Club on what it was all about. Again, there was very limited detail on what kind of reform program the federal government had come up with as part of this funding agreement that they want to implement across the country.

My office then had a further conversation with the Catholic Education Office on Friday. I am meeting with the Catholic Education Office today to get some more detail about their particular concerns with the proposal that has been put on the table by the federal government, which is still yet to be discussed in parliament and still yet to be legislated.

At this point in time we are still trying to get to the bottom of the detail. We will continue our conversations with the ACT community, with state and territory ministers and the federal education minister.

MR WALL: Minister, what action are you, your office and your directorate taking to ensure that Catholic and independent schools in the ACT get a fair deal when it comes to funding those schools in the ACT?

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