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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . .

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We should reserve a large, flexible site for community and recreational facilities. There has already been a report into using the Callam offices for this, but nothing has been done by the government as a result of this report. The former CIT site needs to be looked at as a community asset, not just vacant land to be sold off. Could this become part of an expanded hospital precinct? God knows, it seems that we need more emphasis on medical facilities in the ACT rather than less. Or could it become another higher educational option which the south side would welcome with open arms?

Light rail could help a great deal, but it needs to be coordinated with other actions; otherwise it will just lead to a dormitory centre. For example, it needs a major redevelopment of the bus interchange. This could be a huge opportunity to improve the whole area between Callam Street and the town square.

In conclusion, there is a great deal of work to be done for Woden town centre so that it can achieve its potential. The first step in achieving that is a comprehensive urban renewal strategy, as recommended by the committee in its report. I urge the government to deliver on that and all the 31 recommendations that the committee has made.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Portfolio priorities 2018

Ministerial statement

MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (10.44): Madam Speaker, I am glad to join my colleagues this week in outlining a set of priorities for 2018 which show a strong, progressive agenda across all arms of the ACT government. In my portfolios I plan to build on a successful 2017 with further delivery of commitments Labor made at the election and those contained in the parliamentary agreement. I will continue to progress these initiatives in a collaborative way, and I want to thank the many community members who are feeding into my work. These people reflect a progressive community, with a strong set of values, working together to push for equality and fairness in all parts of life.

Next week I will deliver a statement to sum up the first year's work on developing a new strategy for the future of education in the ACT. This process has been truly community led. With the help of expert leaders in the education field, we have found a great balance, with a conversation bringing the best of knowledge and evidence but that is grounded in what local teachers, students and families identify as most important. My statement next week will start to shape the policy direction for this strategy, clearly and rightly focused on equity, to drive the best outcomes for everyone in our schools. Of course, the Labor values of equity and universal access to education will be strong themes across the education and early childhood development portfolios in 2018.


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