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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . .

Page.. 3252..

will cater for between 30 and 40 families each year, depending on the need. The new centre will feature innovative physical and sensory design, including recreational spaces.

The centre will be suitable for all children with disability and will also provide appropriate support for children with autism. While in respite, each child's individual needs and interests will be cared for by qualified staff. The government has committed $1 million to the project and has worked closely with the foundation to ensure the success of the partnership.

The respite property will be centrally located on land at the Chifley community hub. Land has been provided by the ACT government. This is a wonderful location and provides the family access to other services located in the hub such as Autism Asperger ACT, the YMCA, Warehouse Circus and Nutrition Australia. The centre will be operated by Marymead Child and Family Centre. Marymead is currently providing respite services for children with a disability at Kese House and it is fantastic that we will see a continuance of this service by Marymead when the new centre is opened.

I am delighted that the progress on the partnership and development of the centre is on track. The Ricky Stuart Foundation is project-managing the design, construction and fit-out of the new purpose-built facility with support from the Community Services Directorate through Disability ACT. It has been a great collaboration between the Ricky Stuart Foundation and this government and has really brought together a wealth of knowledge, shared goals and passion.

The foundation, Marymead and Disability ACT have been working closely with Cox Architects to finalise the design elements, and development approvals are underway. Construction is planned to commence in February of next year and is expected to be completed in November of next year.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, who is involved in this work and how is consultation on this project being undertaken?

MS BURCH: The project has significant support from the Ricky Stuart Foundation and also from JGS Property as the project manager. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ricky Stuart and John Mackay from the foundation for their foresight in approaching the government with this proposal and their ongoing commitment, and also to James Service from JGS Property for the project management that he has committed to.

I am very pleased that the construction of the new six-bedroom facility for children with a disability has significant support from the building and construction community. Cox Architects has been engaged to undertake the design elements and there is significant interest from other providers in regard to the construction and fit-out elements of the project. In addition, the Ricky Stuart Foundation has raised over $500,000 from the business community to put towards this project. The foundation has stated it will continue to raise funds to support children with a disability.

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