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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 3 Hansard (17 March) . .

Page.. 725..


MR BARR: Presented to the education department? My understanding is that, certainly after three years of looking at a range of other sites, that was the only viable option. But let us be clear that there is a large land endowment for the Telopea school. Anyone who is familiar with the campus will recognise there are some parts of that land endowment where new sports facilities can be located and higher quality facilities would in fact be a better outcome.

I repeat: the tennis court facilities, the land equivalent to the size of a childcare centre, will be for a new and expanded childcare centre, where we know there is increased demand. This will allow, I understand, about another 23 childcare places to be created. So it is a positive for early childhood development in that we get a new, purpose-built building. But, yes, some sacrifices are being made here in order to get an outcome for everyone, and I acknowledge that. And not everyone is 100 per cent happy; I acknowledge that as well. But I make the point that, in circumstances like this, in responding to the tragedy of a fire burning down the Services Club and their not having the capacity to rebuild on that site, what we need is a solution that supports the Services Club, supports more childcare provision and supports better sports facilities for Telopea school, and we have achieved that.

Childcare—centres

MS LAWDER: My question, apparently, is also to the Chief Minister, based on the last question. Chief Minister, it was announced in the media recently that the Manuka Occasional Child Care Centre, run by a not-for-profit community association known as Mocca, was to have a new home on land that is currently part of Telopea Park School. Last week Mocca announced that it had no money to build a new centre. Chief Minister, what discussions were conducted with Mocca before this announcement was made? What was the basis of these discussions? Who conducted them?

MADAM SPEAKER: I call Mr Barr, the Chief Minister. Is this for you as well?

MR BARR: It is, yes. As I said in my previous answer, the Land Development Agency and Economic Development undertook these consultations as it involved multiple stakeholders, multiple pieces of land and a coordination effort. So, yes, the representatives from Economic Development met with Manuka occasional care on a number of occasions over the course of this piece of work, which, as I indicated, has stretched over a number of years. Those consultations involved discussions around a new purpose-built facility for Manuka occasional care that would allow for an increased number of childcare enrolments and would also enhance the revenue streams for Manuka occasional care.

As has been discussed, Manuka occasional care were given the opportunity to purchase the land at a concessional rate and to build a facility or the land would be sold with a childcare centre in the lease, with them as the tenant. In this instance, Manuka occasional care have indicated to the government that it is unlikely—

Opposition members interjecting—


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