Page 4102 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 September 2017

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ACT has been a national leader under the Gonski agreement. We have established the student resource allocation program, the program which transparently gives effect to needs-based funding in public schools. We have embedded the Teacher Quality Institute as national best practice in teacher quality and registration through high quality, initial teacher education and a comprehensive framework for continuous improvement in the quality and professionalism of the ACT’s teaching workforce. We have had early engagement with the Australian curriculum, which is being implemented progressively, and we have adopted the national school improvement tool for school assessment and improvement.

The benefits of these changes are emerging, and there is no doubt that the ACT’s efforts have been demanding for those at the coalface. The least the federal government can do is acknowledge the work that has already happened and offer a policy framework which builds on it, not which threatens funding cuts for non-compliance with new initiatives. The ACT government’s future of education process has sought to pick up this work and take it further in ways that suit our schools.

I will continue to strongly urge the federal government and Mr Gonski to respect this process and offer due recognition of the great things that are happening in ACT schools right now.

Public housing—displaced clients

MR PARTON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development in relation to public housing closures. Minister, in question time on 14 September, you said in relation to public housing closures around Civic:

Considerable work was done with the public housing tenants …

You went on to say that this was “to ensure that they have sustainable housing that best suits their needs”. Minister, what work have you done on the extent of and the needs of couch surfers and transient dwellers in the Civic area, especially those displaced by public housing closures?

MS BERRY: As I have said previously on a number of occasions, the Public Housing Renewal Taskforce and Housing ACT, along with support services in the ACT, have been working very closely together to make sure that tenants in public housing who will be moved to new homes—better homes that are cheaper to heat and cool, easier to maintain and better suit their needs—are being supported as best they can be. When the individual contacts, the face-to-face personalised conversations, happen with tenants that are registered as public housing tenants, they are asked if they have anybody with them who is not registered with Housing ACT, and then those people are supported by Housing ACT into accommodation or into support services that meet their needs.

MR PARTON: Minister, what will you do to resolve the crisis in overloaded emergency shelters and accommodation that is caused by people displaced by public housing closures?

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