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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 463..


MR STEFANIAK: Minister, why was not action taken sooner when the reported experiences of motorists over a six-month period-and that is well before December-showed that it was a serious hazard? Do you now correct the record, in light of your response in December?

MR HARGREAVES: I have answered that question.

Health-former Queen Elizabeth II family centre

DR FOSKEY: My question is to the Chief Minister, as leader of the government and minister responsible for the City West project. It concerns the site of the former Queen Elizabeth II family centre at the corner of Rudd and Marcus Clarke streets in the city. The minister would appreciate that the building in question was until recently used as a community health facility but has now been returned to Urban Services.

The minister would be aware that Directions ACT, which runs a needle and syringe program from substandard premises at the Civic bus interchange, is looking for new accommodation. The minister would also be aware that the AIDS Action Council, which is presently in Westlund House near the School of Arts, now has to move to accommodate the redevelopment of City West.

Could the minister provide the Assembly with the cost-benefit analysis of transferring the facility to Directions ACT or to the AIDS Action Council rather handing it back to Urban Services?

MR CORBELL: No analysis has been done because it is not a proposal that the government is considering.

DR FOSKEY: My supplementary question is: how will the minister ensure that these two organisations will be appropriately accommodated in a way that will be acceptable to clients, staff and the neighbouring community?

MR CORBELL: These are issues that the government treats very seriously. Last week I had some very productive discussions with Directions ACT. The Directions ACT board have a clear view on how to manage their future accommodation. I indicated to my department that I want to give them full support through the health portfolio. I think we will come to a satisfactory outcome in relation to Directions ACT. I indicate to Dr Foskey that Directions ACT are not contemplating the proposal she put to me in her substantive question.

The AIDS Action Council will need to be provided with alternative accommodation that meets their and their clients' needs before that Westlund House site is redeveloped. At this stage there is no proposal before the government for the redevelopment of that site. It would be a requirement of any redevelopment of that site that acceptable alternative accommodation is provided to the AIDS Action Council. The government will remain in contact and discussions with the ANU so that, before any redevelopment of the Westlund House site occurs, alternative accommodation which is acceptable to the AIDS Action Council and its clients is provided.


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