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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 14 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 4617..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

in need of extra support can turn up on the doorstep and ask for advice. If they need advice from health, housing or education or on targeted early access to childcare services in their region, they can get that information. Not only can they get that information, they can be welcomed into playgroups and programs which deal with some of the isolation that many families with young children feel in communities. This centre is delivering fantastic outcomes to Gungahlin. One is in operation in Tuggeranong, with similar success.

We have also expanded the number of childcare places across the territory, particularly in Gungahlin, with a total investment of $4 million. An additional 54 places were provided in Gungahlin in May 2002, at a cost of $650,000, which was used for two portables at the Nicholls and the Ngunnawal childcare centres.

We recently announced that the new youth detention centre will be built in Gungahlin, representing an infrastructure investment of some $40 million. On top of this, we have invested heavily in child protection across the territory, including in Gungahlin, which allows the government to target our response to those families in need of extra support and those children who need protection. Those resources are out there now. We have doubled the number of our child protection workers from 51 in April 2004 to 110 in July 2005.

We have provided over $8 million over four years to increase the provision of preschool education for eligible four-year-olds, from 101/2 hours per week to 12 hours per week. That is being implemented in some preschools now. There will be a full rollout next year.

This information I have been given today provides us with an opportunity to see how our children are going and, most importantly, to look at those children that are not doing so well and have particular needs in certain areas. It will enable the government to respond, to make sure that our childhood educational services are meeting the needs of children not only in Gungahlin but also across the ACT.

Mr Stanhope: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

Business support

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, during question time I took a question from Dr Foskey in relation to the criteria for business incentives. She may well have a point.

In respect of the assessment criterion as to the suitability for industry in the ACT, the government will give priority to applications that are from business in those areas in which the ACT has a competitive, strategic or natural advantage. There is a list of those areas: ICT, space science, biotech, public administration, environmental industries, creative industries-which have been plagiarised by Mr Smyth-sports, science administration, education and defence. So that may be a hurdle that a practical business may have.

I will add that the contribution criteria would include: the type and size of commitment to ACT employment; contribution of a project to export or import replacement; new


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