Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 October 2017) . . Page.. 4310 ..
ensuring a strong basis to continue to deliver on its election commitments. That is a government I am happy to be part of.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (12.05): The opposition are not at all surprised that we would have this self-congratulatory motion put forward by the government. There are, I believe, many points in this motion that are contentious and many that I think simply have been spun to not reflect the real state of play here in the territory. In particular, in respect of public education, the member stated in her motion:
… investing in better public education by funding new schools to accommodate more students, and expanding facilities at existing schools …
The ACT government already invests more than all the states in public schools. However, on a per student basis we really are not getting the return on that investment that I think many parents would want. Increased funding alone does not correlate to increased educational performance. That is quite simply the case here in the territory, where there is an incredible amount of money that is going into education but unfortunately the trends in international mathematics, science studies and the program for international student assessment all indicate lower academic achievements.
There is considerable work that has to be done here. It is not simply about spending money. It is about spending money wisely and making sure that we are equipping our teachers to do what they do best. The Auditor-General’s report Performance information in ACT public schools revealed that ACT public schools performed below similar schools in other jurisdiction, despite expenditure on a per student basis for public schools being the highest in the nation. That is according to the Auditor-General’s report of May 2017.
TIMSS results also showed the ACT was down in three out of four areas when the tests were last conducted in 2011. In actual fact, the result that has just been achieved is a lower academic result than in 1995. Further to this, there are still many questions about the capacity of our schools, especially in some districts. We have still 73 demountable classrooms across Canberra’s public schools, making up 130 classrooms. Yet the government still have not shed any light on how they are actually going to address the issues in eastern Gungahlin, particularly in and around Franklin and Harrison, with regard to school capacity, particularly at a primary school level.
We also see in the motion that the government is bragging about:
… constructing an integrated transport system across Canberra that will prevent the congestion affecting other cities, incorporate active and diverse travel options, while also building healthy lifestyles …
Unfortunately, the people who trade in Mitchell may not necessarily agree with that one, and I think for good reason. We are seeing considerable delays right across Canberra with regard to roadworks. But even with this integrated transport model, whilst we did hear last week about some of the proposed changes to the rapid routes,