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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 9 Hansard (17 September) . .

Page.. 2777..


who have that lived experience, have an intimate knowledge of particular facilities and can often provide very useful information and suggestions about what is needed and the most effective way to do it.

Having made those remarks, I will be supporting this motion, as amended, today. I recognise that maintaining such a large number of assets requires a strategic approach. I am confident that, if any unique and pressing concerns are raised to members of the Assembly about the safety and security of children in our public schools, the issues will be responded to with the attention they deserve. There is a necessary balance to strike between having clearly laid out capital investment program and maintenance programs and having the flexibility to respond to matters that arise perhaps more urgently or for a range of reasons can suddenly come to the top of the list.

Certainly when TAMS was responsible for the Property Group we had those situations where there was a planned maintenance program, yet at the same time matters arose for a host of reasons, whether it was some weather influence or perhaps a group having a particular emerging need or community demands changing, where those needed to be altered, and I think having that level of flexibility is very valuable as well. As I said, on that basis I will be supporting the motion, as amended, today.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (10.40): I rise to speak in support of Minister Burch's amendment. I am going to talk about maintenance and upgrades for educational facilities in my electorate of Ginninderra and what has been going on lately, because there is some very important work that is being done to support our schools and our teachers and to help the students and parents.

The Canberra High School insulation program has been undertaken as part of the pilot school carbon neutral project. The roof is also being re-sheeted at Canberra High School. There have been car parking extensions and improvements which have been very much called for by parents and school communities at Weetangera Primary School, on which I have received a number of representations, as well as Southern Cross Early Childhood School. Not only that, but there have been designs completed for car park extensions at Macgregor Primary School, and construction work is underway. Moving down the age groups, in the childcare centres we have some childcare centre expansions and upgrade programs happening at Totom House in Kaleen. And, of course, there has been the Macgregor Primary School expansion.

Solar panels, as we have heard from the minister, have been installed throughout all public schools in the ACT as a result of the completion of the stage 3 installations to 34 schools. This program provides an opportunity for schools not only to participate in developing carbon neutral programs but also to gain some additional feedback from the rebates that come through from the electricity suppliers. The staffroom upgrades at Macquarie Primary School have been very much welcomed, I understand, by the staff there who are enjoying the new facilities.

Then there are the security fences which have been so effective at reducing vandalism and damage to our schools. And, Madam Speaker, this is not just an economic question of cost-benefit analysis; it is also about the disheartening effect on teachers, students and parents as well as the general community when they see educational


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