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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (7 August) . .

Page.. 2187..


MS BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, could you provide an update on school capital works in Belconnen, in particular the expansion of Macgregor Primary School?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Berry for her interest in the capital works in the Belconnen region and particularly in Macgregor primary. I am very pleased to be able to outline the infrastructure works that have been completed at ACT public schools and the ACT government-owned childcare centres in the Belconnen region over the 2013 financial year and the works planned for this financial year.

To support the new development of west Belconnen, the Macgregor Primary School has been expanded and refurbished. The school now has four classes in each year group from kindergarten to year 6, increasing its capacity from 525 students to 700 students. The principal there, Lana Read, does an outstanding job for her students and her community. I understand Ms Berry's interest in Macgregor, because her children go there. I understand the grandchildren of Ms Porter also go to Macgregor. I have visited that and I have visited the new upgraded classrooms. It really is a very wonderful school.

Master planning work for Belconnen High School modernisation project is also well advanced. Stage 1 works involve the demolition of a disused school building, the relocation of the music and arts rooms, and the refurbishment of the administration area. The works will be completed next year. I want to thank and praise the principal there, David McCarthy, for his patience in many ways while this school work happens on his campus. He has done an outstanding job with Belconnen high. They have moved to a uniform model, generated by interest from the students themselves, and it is proving very successful.

Other recent infrastructure works completed at schools in the Belconnen region include a learn to ride facility at Southern Cross Early Childhood School; additional car parks at the Southern Cross Early Childhood School and at Charnwood-Dunlop, Weetangera, Fraser and Macgregor primary schools; new security fences at Lake Ginninderra college; learning support units at Maribyrnong Primary School; and a reinstatement of the natural grass oval at the Hawker primary school. We are also building a new library and two classrooms at Cranleigh School; upgrading and expanding Latham preschool; and building a new lift for the Canberra High School.

All schools now have roof-mounted solar panels which generate an income under the ACT feed-in tariff scheme. Schools use this income to undertake further environmental sustainability initiatives. Under the government's carbon neutral loan fund, energy efficient LED lamps will be installed at Hawker college, the Copland campus, Kaleen high school, and Charnwood-Dunlop, Maribyrnong and Miles Franklin primary schools. A solar heater system will be installed for the Cranleigh School hydrotherapy pool. In conjunction with the ACT government's healthy weight initiative, water refill stations will be installed in Belconnen schools over the next 12 months. And a childcare centre in Charnwood has been upgraded, providing an additional 23 childcare places. Planning is well underway to further upgrade the Totom centre at Kaleen.

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