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State of the Capital – Weekly Political Wrap

By John Hope - 24 September 2014 3

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In the Legislative Assembly, Shadow Education Minister Steve Deszpot has attacked the Government with claims that ACT teachers are overwhelmed with administrative tasks. Deszpot put it to Minister for Education Joy Burch that teachers want to spend more time teaching and less time penpushing bureaucratic bulldust. Burch responded by delivering an enthralling, prepared, statement that did not address Deszpot’s concerns whatsoever. Burch maintains that the ACT education system punches above its weight when compared with other jurisdictions in Australia whilst accusing the Shadow Minister of wanting to bulldoze old schools.

The Act Government has released a call for expressions of interest from students in years 9 and 10 to participate in a ‘design ideas two-day workshop’ for Canberra’s light rail station of the future. In collaboration with Capital Metro, the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects will be holding a two-day workshop during the school holidays on 30 September and 1 October. Award presentations take place on 2 October, with a first prize of $2,500. Perhaps the Government is planning to offset some of the 800 million-dollar light rail project by granting tenders to the highest performing students… who knows?

Giulia Jones MLA has finally relinquished her training wheels and found an issue that might actually give her some political mileage. Jones has called for an inquiry into violence perpetrated by drug affected people in Canberra’s hospitals. There will certainly be no inquiry, but when the public hears stories of paramedics being assaulted and young children wetting their pants in fear of ‘ice’ affected losers in emergency departments, they will want action.

And it’s full steam ahead for Chief Minister in waiting Alistair Coe’s relentless attack on Labor’s light rail. As with Tony Abbott’s attack on the carbon tax, Coe has seen his chance to wreck an expensive Greens/Labor project, and it may well be his making. Coe continues to lead the Libs and Labor into an election on light rail. But things may not be as they seem. Labor’s relative silence on the issue aims to lure Coe and the entire Liberal Party into a trap. The debate will not be about light rail. It will be about jobs. Anti-light rail, sure! Anti-jobs, hmmm…

And most sadly, family, friends and Canberra’s politicians attended the final farewell for ACT Labor Media Adviser Kurt Steel who was killed in a tragic bus accident recently in Bolivia. Mrs Steel expressed to the hundreds of mourners that her son fit in more into his 25 years of life than most people would in a lifetime. An emotional Mr Barr said ‘we love him, and will miss him terribly’. A truly tragic loss for Canberra, and the world.

What’s Your opinion?


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3 Responses to
State of the Capital – Weekly Political Wrap
miz 7:18 am 25 Sep 14

The teacher admin burden is horribly real. Many of the recent requirements are basically Departmental thought bubbles that are actually resulting in burn out when teachers have to try to apply them.
For example, my understanding is that teachers have to find and pay for their own personal development courses (to be done in their own time, of course) to prove they are ‘maintaining their skills’ n their designated subject (and this obligation does not get put on hold while on mat leave or work part time for family reasons) and your teacher registration cannot be renewed if you have not done so. Teachers on mat leave etc should not be having to worry about this. And what other public servant has to pay for compulsory skill requirements?
And from what I have heard, the burdensome yet compulsory performance review process is an absolute joke.

dungfungus 9:08 pm 24 Sep 14

HiddenDragon said :

“Labor’s relative silence on the issue aims to lure Coe and the entire Liberal Party into a trap” – right now, it’s looking like a trap of the Wile E. Coyote variety, for which all Canberra taxpayers will be paying for many, many years to come. Turning, or trying to, the next election into a referendum on the northside trams would be stupid – rates, and other other taxing and spending decisions (not just the trams) by the ACT Government will be THE issue for many Canberrans, who will be waiting with the proverbial baseball bats, and who need a clear choice next time around.

Why isn’t the media hammering The Greens over the totally unviable light rail project?
After all, it is only happening because of the The Green in the ACT Labor minority government.

HiddenDragon 5:41 pm 24 Sep 14

“Labor’s relative silence on the issue aims to lure Coe and the entire Liberal Party into a trap” – right now, it’s looking like a trap of the Wile E. Coyote variety, for which all Canberra taxpayers will be paying for many, many years to come. Turning, or trying to, the next election into a referendum on the northside trams would be stupid – rates, and other other taxing and spending decisions (not just the trams) by the ACT Government will be THE issue for many Canberrans, who will be waiting with the proverbial baseball bats, and who need a clear choice next time around.

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