Page 173 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 9 February 2022

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meetings, store materials and to share those with the Canberra community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank groups such as the National Heritage Trust and the Canberra & District Historical Society for their tireless efforts in capturing, collating and sharing the stories of Canberra’s past.

This motion by Ms Orr presents an exciting pathway forward to brush dust off some of our beautiful, older and under-utilised ACT property service buildings, and invite the community into these spaces to create a more vibrant city.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (3.03): I rise in support of Ms Orr’s motion, and I thank her for bringing this important matter of community facilities to the Assembly’s attention. The community sector is a vital part of the ACT’s social and economic fabric. It promotes the health and wellbeing of Canberrans through promoting physical activity and exercise; learning and mental stimulation; social connections and relationships; and maintaining and sharing of culture.

Canberra’s many and diverse community sector organisations also support social inclusion, provide essential services for people in need, and make an invaluable contribution to justice and equity through their advocacy for marginalised groups. This work does not happen in a vacuum; it happens due to the diligence and dedication of hardworking Canberrans, many of whom rely on the provision of a physical space to come together.

Our community centres and facilities are an essential enabler for all of these activities. A lack of facilities has a direct impact on the capability of these organisations to deliver services. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ACTCOSS and their member organisations not only for the work that they do, but also for their advocacy for improving the facilities available to community organisations in Canberra.

The Greens have long been strong advocates for strengthening the quality, quantity, accessibility and affordability of community facilities across Canberra. As Ms Orr’s motion notes, a large number of those facilities are owned by ACT Property Group.

ACTCOSS have told us that the current community hubs are old and decaying. Others have described their facilities as run-down and dated. A comprehensive program to maintain and upgrade all of the buildings in the portfolio is now urgent, and I welcome the news that the government is undertaking a review across the board to start addressing these gaps.

We, the Greens, have a particular concern that many of these government-owned buildings that are leased to community organisations are in urgent need of upgrades to improve energy efficiency. These upgrades will ensure the safety and wellbeing of community sector workers, contribute to the whole-of-government efforts to reach net zero by 2030 and provide a more comfortable environment for venue users—a clear win-win.

Naturally, as Canberra grows and densifies, we must also increase the range and number of facilities available. Community services are already feeling the pinch, with the lack of facilities being a major barrier to delivering the services that Canberrans

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