Page 172 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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The needs of community organisations are diverse, and there will be no single type of property that will suit everyone. Replicating a model like the Griffin Centre, like Ms Orr mentioned, in Gungahlin or Molonglo may work for some office-space organisations; for others it will be different. What is needed may be a hall, a kitchen for hosting large events, or a refurbished classroom for teaching and sharing knowledge.

We want to maintain a diverse property portfolio that can meet all of the needs, while also better responding to changes in how community services are delivered today. We will be working on this over the coming year, while looking closely at the information that comes through the assessment being undertaken at the moment. We will be engaging with community sector stakeholders to develop a way forward. I have already really appreciated the constructive conversations that I have had with groups like ACTCOSS about this work, and we will be doing a lot more of that.

Ms Orr’s motion points in a good direction, in emphasising the value of the projects as part of a broader strategy. I look forward to keeping the Assembly and community updated on this work as we consult more broadly with Canberrans and the tenants of Property Group properties about the future of our community facilities in Canberra.

MS VASSAROTTI (Kurrajong—Minister for the Environment, Minister for Heritage, Minister for Homelessness and Housing Services and Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction) (3.01): I rise to speak in support of Ms Orr’s motion and to speak about the potential co-benefits of this approach to both protect and breathe life into Canberra’s heritage buildings, while at the same time supporting the community sector. Heritage is to be protected as a legacy for the community, and the community should be at the heart of our heritage protection. However, community groups are limited in the role that they can play, hindered by a lack of facilities.

I would like to share a recent example of a fantastic innovation in this vein, and to share a priority of mine as Minister for Heritage. I was delighted to attend, along with my colleague Minister Cheyne, the opening of the Australian Capital Theatre Hub—ACT Hub—at the heritage-listed Causeway Hall at the end of last year. This beautiful hall was converted into a multifunctional performance space, and will host an eight-show season, classes, workshops and various special theatrical events throughout the year. The hub will also focus on providing development opportunities for emerging directors and designers. One of the co-founders, Everyman Theatre’s Jarrad West, said:

To be able to take up residency in Canberra’s oldest purpose-built community entertainment venue is a delight. We’re excited to have been entrusted with stewardship of this historic building, and look forward to celebrating its 100th birthday in the future.

To me, this is a fantastic example of delivering both community and heritage benefits, and an exciting example of thoughtful, adaptive re-use. A priority of mine, as Minister for Heritage, is to investigate options, amongst ACT government facilities, for a single hub to bring together people who care about our heritage, and also to hold

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