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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1144..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

There are opportunities for the longer term for Birrigai. Children get outdoor education in a variety of ways. Most of it is actually done at their schools, but this site does give them the opportunity to get out and it is an area over which we have significant control because it is our property. It is the area to which we decided to go in the short term. That is not to rule out other alternatives as we go on build the new Birrigai, as I am calling it, but that is the decision that was taken last week.

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Pratt?

MR PRATT: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, whilst I accept the points you make about running concurrently-

MR SPEAKER: Come to the supplementary question, Mr Pratt.

MR PRATT: I wonder why you have not accepted before now the offers of Outward Bound Australia-I am glad to see that you are speaking to them-to transfer temporarily at least the outdoors natural bushland program to their excellent, safe and bushland-centric facilities.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, you are not entitled to give a long preamble to a supplementary question. Come straight to the question.

MR PRATT: May I ask it again, Mr Speaker? Why could you not have accepted earlier the offers made by Outward Bound Australia with respect to their excellent bushland-centric setting? Perhaps you could have saved a lot of time and effort on getting things moving.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Pratt, the education department would not specifically refuse an offer just for the sake of it. There are issues that need to be worked through with Outward Bound. I do not want to go into them at the moment. I have not had the opportunity to talk to Outward Bound. I am happy to talk to you as well. Outward Bound provides an excellent service; there is no doubt about that. I am keen to talk to them. Those discussions are ongoing. I can assure you that the department would not just refuse Outward Bound if there weren't reasons for that at this time.

Community facilities needs assessment

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the minister for community services. Minister, would you please inform the Assembly of the progress of the community facilities needs assessment?

MR WOOD: It is moving on. That is what I can say. Also moving on are my claims in the budget rounds, as we seek to fund those facilities. I cannot give you the detail of that just now, but I am aware of continuing progress and I will come back to you with a bit of detail as to a timeframe.

MS DUNDAS: I have so many supplementary questions, Mr Speaker, but I will only ask one. Minister, would you please inform the Assembly-


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