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Thursday, 26 May 2011
Page: 4773

Mr GARRETT (Kingsford SmithMinister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth) (09:26): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2011 makes amendments to the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000.

The bill amends the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Act 2000 to extend the existing funding arrangements, including indexation arrangements, for the 2013 calendar year.

The government is conducting a review of funding for schooling due to report in 2011. While the review is focused on the mainstream, there may be implications for the design and operation of the closely complementary programs run under the act. This extension will allow sufficient time for the government to implement any changes arising from the review, whilst also meeting its responsibilities around proper planning, engagement, consultation and change management with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities and funded organisations.

The bill confirms the Australian government's commitment to review all funding arrangements for schooling, including in relation to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education-focused programs which are run under the act.

The Australian government is committed to closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. This extension will facilitate consideration of the findings of the review and the best way to utilise the funding under the act to support improved educational achievement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The bill will also formalise a number of previous decisions of government in relation to the mechanisms for the delivery of a number of initiatives related to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education.

At the commencement of Reconciliation Week, I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.