This week in committees, we provide updates on site visits from a committee seeking to identify ways to protect at-risk koala populations, and site visits to schools for the inquiry into measurement and outcome-based funding for schools. As always, you can find more information on these and many other inquiries on our website.
Identifying ways to protect at-risk koala populations
Portfolio Committee No. 7 has been on the road in recent weeks for the inquiry into the protection of koala populations in New South Wales. On Friday 18 October, the committee travelled to Ballina for a public hearing and took evidence from representatives of Ballina, Tweed and Lismore councils, Dr Stephen Phillips of Biolink and Mr David Milledge, as well as key environmental organisations, including the Australian Koala Foundation.
On Friday 25 October, the committee then travelled to Campbelltown where it met with representatives of the Total Environment Centre and Lendlease for a site visit of a residential development planned for land along Appin Road. The committee then held a public hearing at Campbelltown Arts Centre, where it heard from Campbelltown and Wollondilly councils, Lendlease, key environmental organisations such as the Total Environment Centre, Wilton Action Group, Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, Save Mt. Gilead and the Macarthur branch of the National Parks Association, and Dr Stephen Phillips of Biolink.
The inquiry is looking into the current status of koala populations and their habitat and focusing on the impacts and effectiveness of existing policies relating to land management reform, forestry and the environment. Further hearings are planned for December 2019 and early 2020 – dates and locations will be posted on the website once they become available.
Inquiry tests the case for measurement and outcome-based funding for schools
On 25 October 2019, Portfolio Committee No. 3 – Education visited three schools in Western Sydney identified as best practice schools.
During the visit, passionate educators shared with the Committee how they help students develop their full potential. They highlighted different aspects that made their school’s unique and how they strive for excellence. Examples include, adopting strategies from experienced global educators to drive a culture of continuous improvement in the quality of teaching; a focus on harmony in a culturally diverse school that extends beyond school hours and supports students’ families; and an emphasis on discipline and evidence based teaching techniques to prepare students for their individual career path.
Yesterday, the committee undertook another visit to schools around Sydney to learn how current education programs prepare our students for the future. On that note, to all the students currently undertaking the High School Certification Exam (from Thursday 17 October to Monday 11 November) and their parents, good luck, while we are doing our bit to study how you study!