Page 2961 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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The government has also supported all-abilities and inclusive swimming opportunities through providing funding to Abilities Unlimited Australia through this year’s 2022-23 ACT budget. Abilities Unlimited Australia was allocated $225,000 to expand their local existing programs, which include water and swim safety, and movement, skills and social development for young people with special needs. Water Abilities is a fantastic program and is designed to teach lifesaving skills to children with diverse abilities. This program helps participants embrace their natural affinity with water in a safe and beneficial way. Having been able to participate in this program with the young people and their families I have seen the positive impact that safe water access has for these young people and their families. It also provides time in a place that meets the needs of those individuals so that they can learn how to swim in an environment that meets their sensory requirements.

The ACT government has also committed $8.5 million in the ACT budget to develop the new hydrotherapy pool in Tuggeranong. The ACT government is also committed to ensuring that access to pools is available and developed. This has been demonstrated by the recent upgrades to the Dickson Aquatic Centre. This has seen the inclusion of an accessibility ramp, which will allow for easier ingress and egress from the pool for those who may be mobility impaired or older Canberrans who need easier access in and out of the pool.

The ACT government believes that all Canberrans should be provided with the opportunity to participate in sport and active recreation, and this includes aquatic recreation across the venues to provide healthy lifestyles and to develop the necessary confidence and skills to be safe in and around the water. I thank Mr Braddock again for bringing forward this motion to the Assembly. As I said, I look forward to working with the multicultural communities, with our own government swimming pool facilities and with private pools, and to engaging with the Minister for Multicultural Affairs Tara Cheyne to make sure that we can provide the access that these communities have been calling for.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (3.30), in reply: I would like to thank all members who have contributed today, and I thank the Assembly for the fact that we have tri-partisan support on this motion. I think that it reflects well on us as a community that we would like to see all in Canberra have the opportunity to learn how to swim and enjoy the water. Thank you.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Canberra Hospital—paediatric emergency department

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (3.31): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the ACT Government opened a dedicated paediatric service for children attending the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital on 9 May 2016 comprising six treatment beds, two consultation rooms and a private waiting area;

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