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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (23 October) . . Page.. 4018..


MS GALLAGHER

(continuing):

Ministerial Council are also looking at the issue. In November I am meeting with other ministers with responsibility for child care to begin working together to look at national solutions for what I believe is becoming a major emerging social justice issue.

In addition, we have provided almost $1 million to all preschool communities in the ACT. Every preschool will get a block grant, regardless of the size of the school, and the rest of the money will be allocated on a per capita basis. I have also taken the decision not to suspend or close small preschools until further strategic work is completed to deal with the declining preschool enrolments into the future.

The ACT government is doing a number of things to address the pressure for child-care places. However, we can't solve this pressure alone. We, like all states and territories, need increased support from the Commonwealth if we are to deal with emerging child-care social divide issue seriously.

Currong flats

MS TUCKER

: Mr question is to Mr Wood regarding housing. Mr Wood, I have heard from a number of sources that the Currong flats will be sold off and that there is no guarantee that all current residents will be rehoused immediately. Can you please clarify for the Assembly the short-term plans for Currong? If you are, in fact, demolishing this accommodation, how and when will you be able to accommodate those tenants who want to remain in the area who are now resident there?

Mrs Dunne

: Point of order!

MR SPEAKER

: Mrs Dunne, you are first after me. That seems to me to be a request to announce government policy.

MR WOOD

: I will avoid that aspect of it, but I do need to give some assurances.

MR SPEAKER

: Mrs Dunne?

Mrs Dunne

: No, it is all right.

MR WOOD

: Perhaps "simple administrative matter"is a better definition than "government policy". As we consider what to do with Currong, we have, in quite recent times, assured tenants there that, whatever circumstances arise, they will be secure in maintaining a tenancy. If there was a decision to do something different with that site, every tenant would nevertheless carry the same right that they currently have. They would carry the same right across. That right is protected. They are tenants of ACT Housing now, and they would carry that right through, no matter what the circumstances.

I understand there is a question on the notice paper about this, and I do not know how far we should go down this path. I am happy to, but I do not want to incur anybody's wrath. However, I want to make it clear that, if a tenant at Currong has approached Ms Tucker, they should not worry. They will always have that roof over their head-the same right that they have now. That does not stop other things happening if there is a disturbance and notice to remedy is given or if there is unpaid rent. Those issues might continue, but the tenants are secure with the right they have now.


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