Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 September 2006) . . Page.. 3001 ..
status. It is partly a product of the postmodernist brutalist architecture of the town centre. The overpasses with the unfortunate discoloured perspex do not add much to the visual amenity there; they tend to overshadow the beautiful aspects of the lake. It is a shame that the town centre, as described by somebody, is a shopping centre with five backsides, all of which steadfastly turn their back on the vistas of Lake Ginninderra.
In my comments today I want to dwell on the birthday presents that the Stanhope government has given the people of Ginninderra, the people of Belconnen. The first of those is pay parking at Calvary Hospital. That was a great birthday present. Very soon after the 40th birthday of Belconnen, Minister Gallagher introduced pay parking at Belconnen. Someone quipped to me recently that it was a pleasure to go to a function at the Wests rugby club because at least you did not have to pay for parking and was it not ironic that you did not have to pay to park when you wanted a drink in Belconnen but if you were ill or were dying, you had to pay to park.
The other birthday present to the people of Belconnen in June 2006 is the proposed closure of 13 schools, the gutting of the Melba high and Copeland college and the cutting back of Southern Cross primary school, and that on top of the closing of Ginninderra district high school last year.
It is interesting to look at the list of things published in the Chronicle to mark the 40th anniversary of Belconnen. As Ms Porter mentioned earlier, the list was compiled with the assistance of Mr Brian Rhynehart, and I commend the Chronicle on publishing this list and their interest in Belconnen. Thirteen of the events on the list related to education. Education is an important issue for the people of Belconnen, and the 13 events are by no means all the education achievements in Belconnen, but, of a list of 30-odd subjects, 13 were education related. It is ironic that the government proposes to close 13 schools in Belconnen—a fine birthday present to the people of Belconnen.
I think that Ms Porter should hang her head in shame. She likes to go around and wring her hands at school meetings about how she is listening to the people of Belconnen. But this morning Mr Stefaniak read out some of the comments of people from Belconnen and they are actually saying things like “I think that the consultation on Towards 2020 is BS”. It was a shame that Mr Stefaniak did not read the rest of that comment because that person said that, as a Labor voter, she hoped that the next time the Labor Party was in government in the ACT would not be before 2020.
Youth Dance Fest 2006
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (6.19): Mr Speaker, this morning I had the pleasure of representing Minister Gallagher in launching Youth Dance Fest 2006 at the National Museum of Australia. Mr Mulcahy, Jacqui Burke and Mr Smyth were also in attendance. A fantastic non-competitive annual event run by Ausdance ACT, the dance fest sees students from ACT government high schools and colleges produce and perform a three-day dance festival.
The event began in 1985, as part of the Canberra Youth Arts Festival, and a total of 20 schools, both government and non-government, performed. This year it is sponsored by ACT Health and Canberra Milk. Now in its 22nd year, the dance fest sees participation by almost 2,000 students who are aged between 12 and 18 and come from