The latest RoGS report shows that the ACT enjoys:
— Some of the highest NAPLAN score results for years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students in reading and numeracy, indicating a school system that is teaching the basics effectively. The ACT also has the highest school participation rate for 14-19 year olds
— In vocational and skills training, the ACT has the highest proportion of students completing diplomas and above, and the largest share of Government-funded students who get a job after they graduate, indicating a system that is effective in preparing young people for work
— Growth in the number of childcare centres, with the number growing from 102 centres in 2007-08 to 127 in 2011-12, indicating a steady increase in a service that helps working parents
“The report shows an education system – right from providing childcare that helps parents, up to preparing young people for the workforce – that produces great results,” Katy Gallagher says.
In responding to the needs of specific groups of people or to specialist needs, the RoGS report show:
— Some of the best results in the country in prioritising access to public housing that meets the needs of clients. This result is partly attributable to the First Point prioritisation service that was introduced in 2010
— Strong results in ensuring people with disability are accessing the services they need, with more than two-thirds of people with disability in the ACT accessing specialist services, well above the national average of 61%
— Highly responsive services in initiating investigations in care and protection of children and young people. Investigations were underway within seven days in nearly 92% of reports of concern
“The quality of services that back-up people in need, or people who have on-going specialist requirements, is very good overall in responding quickly and thoroughly,” Katy Gallagher says.
In the justice and emergency services areas, the report shows:
— Some of the best results in the country in emergency services, with, for example, satisfaction with police services exceeding the national average, and ACT Fire and Rescue ranking the highest in the country in containing fires within structures like houses
— Major improvement in the clearance rate of civil matters in the Supreme Court, mostly as a result of the initiatives to improve clearance rates
— Very high enrolment rates in education and training for detainees mostly as a result of the compulsory education/induction policy at the Alexander Maconochie Centre
In health, the report underlines areas of pressure, while showing other areas where the ACT performs strongly, including:
— The highest proportion of community follow-up for patients with a mental illness, following discharge from hospital, with 78.6% of mental health patients seen within seven days of leaving hospital (national figure: 54.3%), and the lowest proportion of readmissions to hospital for psychiatric patients (within 28 days of discharge)
The report shows that the median waiting time for elective surgery has fallen, from 76 days in 2010-11 to 63 days in 2011-12, reflecting the Government’s initiatives to improve waiting times. The share of patients who waited more than a year for surgery reduced from 10.8% to 6.2% in 2011-12.
One can’t help noticing that a lot of the areas of strength might have more to do with the people of the ACT than their Government.