Page 2171 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 3 August 2021

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fully developed in the coming decades, the population of the valley is anticipated to reach around 60,000.

To date, the views of Molonglo Valley residents have been represented by a small number of residents on the Weston Creek Community Council. I acknowledge the Weston Creek council for its work in support of the Molonglo Valley community, but the time is now right for the Molonglo Valley to have its own local community forum.

The ACT government is engaging in a busy capital works program for the Molonglo Valley. It includes, amongst other things, the construction of new schools, a new commercial centre and the Molonglo bridge. As the territory government expands the delivery of works in the region, we recognise the need to encourage further community engagement through a community council.

Since becoming incorporated in March 2021, the Molonglo Valley Community Forum has held five monthly public meetings, attracting a combined audience of around 500, so it is off to a good start. Pleasingly, the forum has taken the view that it needs to actively engage with young people in the region. The June meeting focused on identifying the needs of young people in the Molonglo Valley. The forum is seeking the active participation of students from the Charles Weston School, and I congratulate it for doing that.

As with all community councils, we encourage the new community forum to engage widely with what we know is a diverse range of communities who live and work in the Molonglo Valley. This includes younger residents, time-poor families, families with English as a second language, and people who may be less inclined than others to engage in traditional community events.

There is a significant program of investment underway in the Molonglo Valley and construction continues at pace. The ACT government looks forward to working with the new forum and its members on our plan for the region. I again thank Dr Paterson for her leadership and representation of this community and in bringing to the Assembly the motion that has allowed for the support and creation of this new community forum.

I present the following paper:

Molonglo Valley Community Council—Ministerial statement, 3 August 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

DR PATERSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.41): I thank the Chief Minister and congratulate him on supporting the motion making the Molonglo Valley Community Council a reality. I also thank my colleagues in the chamber for their support of this motion.

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