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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (31 May) . . Page.. 1314..


MR BARR (continuing):

committed to making the improvements recommended by the Auditor-General. I would like to thank the Auditor-General for her report on this matter.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Mr Seselja ) adjourned to the next sitting.

School—closures

Ministerial statement

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.44): I seek leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement concerning public consultation on the future use of former school sites.

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank the Assembly for granting me leave to make this ministerial statement. As part of the school's renewal policy which was announced in this Assembly on 13 December 2006 by my colleague the Minister for Education and Training, several schools and preschools have been or will be closed. The government, in consultation with the ACT community, now needs to decide what to do with these sites.

The Stanhope government is committed to engaging with the community on a range of issues. As Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, I am very pleased to announce to the Assembly that we will be shortly commencing a two-stage consultation process with the intention of gaining the ACT community's views on future uses for the schools and preschools that have closed or are to close. By conducting a two-stage consultation process, the government is ensuring that the public are actively involved in deciding the future use of each site.

In the first stage of the consultation process, the government will engage an independent consultant to run consultation forums in Belconnen, Woden, Weston, Tuggeranong, Hall and Tharwa. In these forums, the government will be seeking community input on a regional basis on a number of potential future uses that can be tested against each site, and suggestions from the community about any additional uses that could also be considered.

This consultation process will in stage 2 encompass the majority of preschools and primary schools that have been identified for closure as part of the schools renewal policy. This includes a number of schools and preschools which have not yet closed. However, three preschool and two primary school sites will be subject to community consultation about their possible future uses only during stage 1. This is because the preschool sites—Giralang, Macarthur and Mackellar—are very small and not adjacent to a vacant primary school site, while the condition of the Rivett and Kambah Mount Neighbour primary school buildings is such that significant capital investment would be required to bring them up to a suitable standard for ongoing tenanting.


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