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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 584..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

Bringing children into today's world is not easy. Balancing the needs between work and looking after family is always confronting for new parents and is a challenging task. Any affordable assistance offered to these families and the local community should be encouraged and supported. If not for centres such as the Greenway early childhood centre and its senior body, Communities@Work, parents and families would find it difficult to seek advice, help and support when raising their children. It is well known that I have long been a supporter of community services, especially when dealing with working families. I encourage all members of this Assembly and the community that we represent to continue the support necessary to maintain this level of valued early childhood care service.

The Tuggeranong early childhood centre later this year will host a trash and treasure sale to which the local community will donate possessions that they no longer require. I urge members to donate any used household items or similar. I have some interesting used car parts that I will be donating. The opposition may have a used leader or two that they are able to donate to assist in raising money for important resources for these children.

Lanyon community medical facility

Tharwa bridge

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.08): Mr Speaker, I rise briefly to pick up a couple of matters relevant to my own back garden. Firstly, I was pleased to see that Dr Nathem Al-Naser was able to win an auction to identify a piece of land in the Lanyon medical centre precinct, on which it looks like he will be able to build a full medical centre, a centre that can provide the full services, if you like, of an outlying medical centre capability. If that comes to pass, that surely must be good for the Canberra Hospital in terms of removing at least a bit of the load from that hospital. It must also be a very good thing for the Lanyon Valley. That is an area where there are lots of families with lots of young children.

Dr Al-Naser is an Iraqi doctor by background who owns a significant practice in Belconnen. In anticipation of establishing a broader medical centre practice in the south, he has been running a small surgery at the Lanyon shops for about six months. He says that he has been overwhelmed by families with all the types of issues that families currently take to the emergency section at Canberra Hospital. Lots of kids are presenting with twisted ankles, broken legs, abrasions and things requiring stitching up et cetera, and he has been able to address some of those things, but I am not too sure how, in his very small—two rooms—surgery. Good luck to him.

I know that he is having some difficulty at the moment with the LDA in identifying the entire scope of the project that he has now won, for the 1,600 square metres of land that he has purchased. I think that the tendering document said that the land which might form the footprint of the building was in the region of 400 square metres. He was then told by the LDA that, unfortunately, he would be confined to something like 260 square metres, which would not allow him to build within budget what he thinks is needed for that community. I gather that the LDA was having discussions with him on Monday. I do not know how those have gone. For the sake of the Lanyon community, I wish him well. We will see what happens. If the interested parties run


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