Page 298 - Week 01 - Thursday, 14 February 1991

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MR KAINE: I can only answer the question with a wholehearted yes. In fact, I wrote to the Prime Minister only recently asking him, if he had not already done so, to intercede with the management board of the war memorial, to make sure that no such charge was levied. I think the point has been made very strongly by a lot of people over recent weeks that the price of admission to that memorial has been paid well and truly, and not in money. To ask people, such as the relatives and descendants of the soldiers who are commemorated by that memorial, to pay to visit that memorial would be a travesty. I was most delighted to see that those responsible have changed their minds on that issue.

Preschool Restructuring

MRS NOLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to Mr Humphries, in his capacity as Minister for Education. Mr Humphries, what progress has been made in the process of preschool restructuring for 1991?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mrs Nolan for that question, acknowledging her interest in this matter on an ongoing basis. Negotiations have been progressing smoothly towards the collocation of six government preschools to North Ainslie, Campbell, Red Hill, Turner, Yarralumla and Mawson primary schools over the last few months.

Constant liaison has occurred between officers of the Ministry for Health, Education and the Arts and the preschool and school communities that are concerned. At this time, the collocation to North Ainslie Primary School is the most advanced. Initial indications are that the parties involved in the move are very pleased with the standard of modifications planned for them. The trial of the preschool cluster program in Weston Creek is proceeding in a very positive fashion.

Strong interest has already been shown in the use of the two vacated preschool sites during the one-year trial period. A variety of community groups have made bookings, including local playgroups, the Woden and Weston community centres, scouting and similar groups, music programs and adult exercise classes. The ministry has provided a quantity of furniture for the benefit of these user groups. Clearly, Mr Speaker, considerable community use is still being made of those facilities in the vacated sites. A working party to evaluate the trial preschool cluster program in 1991 has been formed, and its work has begun.

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