Page 2930 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022
areas, small group programs, a library and interactive learning centre, and sport and recreation spaces for students and the community, which will include a double gymnasium hall, performing arts spaces and hard courts.
I am also very encouraged to see the master planning and preliminary design works for a second public college in the Gungahlin area—something that, through a very good and responsive planning process, will deliver for our community and for our growing need within the college system. As I said, as the fastest growing electorate in the fastest growing state or territory in this country, Yerrabi has seen and will continue to see a great deal of investment in the education space because this government is committed to every student in the ACT having access to quality public education. I welcome this commitment and the investments that are coming forward to support it. I commend this section of the budget to the Assembly.
MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (11.50): I rise today to commend the ongoing investment in education across my electorate of Yerrabi. Gungahlin is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and it is also home to the largest number of young Canberrans. In Canberra, the suburbs of Bonner, Forde and Amaroo are home to the highest proportion of households with children. Roughly 65 per cent of households in these suburbs have children, well above the national average.
Naturally, parents want to raise their children in an area with good schools, efficient public transport and quality community facilities. This is what makes Gungahlin so appealing for so many. To support this fast rate of population growth, continued strong investment in our local education system is essential. In this year’s budget, the ACT government has announced important initiatives that will help to boost, support and grow our local schools.
This year’s budget provides funding for a new high school in Taylor, which will cater for 800 students. This new high school will offer general and specialist learning areas, small group programs, a library and an interactive learning centre. The new high school will offer sport and recreation spaces for students that can also be used by the community. These facilities will include a double gymnasium, a hall, performing arts spaces and hard courts. I am excited to see this work completed and I look forward to the new school opening.
On top of this commitment, funding has been provided for the Margaret Hendry School expansion, which will allow for 600 extra students. This expansion will feature specialist learning settings, including food technology, science and technology, engineering, art, and maths, as well as general learning settings. An additional 140 parking spaces will also be delivered, which will be very well received. The project is due to be completed in 2023, and I am excited to see even more students experience the innovative teaching practices in place at the school. Having previously toured the school, I will personally attest that Margaret Hendry School is one of the most innovative schools in the ACT.
Importantly for the Gungahlin community, planning and design work will soon commence for a second college in Gungahlin. This is a much-needed addition for our community. I have heard clearly from the community for many years a desire for a second public college, due to ongoing capacity issues at Gungahlin College. This will