Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

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Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 Senior secondary schools have received a cut in both dollar and real terms. They are down almost $300 000 in dollar terms and more than $700 000 in real terms. Comprehensive secondary schools have received an increase of $600 000 but, in real terms, a significant decrease of about $800 000. These schools are in real need. Small comprehensive high schools, such as Tennant Creek, Nhulunbuy and Taminmin, require additional funding to ensure that the full range of subject choices is available to students. They need funds to ensure that, where specialist teachers are not available to Years 11 and 12, that expertise can be brought into the school through technological options or the importation of tutoring skills, or both. Junior secondary schools and the Northern Territory Secondary Correspondence School funding have kept pace with inflation and population growth. I acknowledge and applaud that. Information systems have been cut by $28 000 in real terms. Teacher support services have been cut by $712 000, or by $ l.lm in real terms, and the budget papers state that the teacher support services program aims to ensure that the quality of teaching is of a high standard. It includes professional curriculum support and staff training and assessment. This means less training for our teachers. Opportunities for teachers to improve their skills and have best possible practice training is being quashed by this government. This government has shown itself prepared to abuse teachers and to criticise them publicly but, when it comes to shelling out money to ensure they are properly resourced, trained and equipped to do their job, it draws back. It cannot have it both ways. Student support services has an apparent increase in dollar terms of some $989 000. This does not match the growth required to keep pace with inflation and student population growth. In fact, it is about $500 000 short of that mark. Student support services provide programs for intellectually, physically or emotionally disabled students, music teaching, special sports events and in many other areas. Which of those areas can the government really afford to restrict? Post secondary education also has been dealt with savagely in the budget. Strategic services have been cut by $500 000 in dollar terms. College support is down by almost $200 000 in dollar terms. Batchelor College is down by almost $500 000 in dollar terms. Northern Territory Rural College has been cut by almost $70 000. The total budget for the Northern Territory Employment and Training Authority has not matched inflation. It is some $500 000 down in real terms. I note also the cuts to the university which I presume are associated mainly with the completion of capital works programs there. The government has cut education at both ends. As children start their lives as 5-year-old students, they will have their funding squeezed. As they continue their education as adults in post secondary education, their funding will be squeezed again. It means less attention when they need it vitally as young children and less opportunity to return to education as an adult. In relation to housing, much has been made of the $8.8m increase to Aboriginal health services. That is a large increase and it is needed desperately. I commend the government and the Treasurer for allocating that. My electorate has been rated the worst in the provision of housing and health statistics, and I particularly welcome it from that point of view. Recent attention to health statistics drew the Minister for Health and Community Services to the inevitable conclusion on the links between lack of housing or inadequate housing and poor health. Why then has no concerted effort been made to address housing needs for Aboriginals 3503