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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3537..


MRS DUNNE (continuing):

It is been a great honour to do so and it is been a great honour to live and serve in the Belconnen community for in excess of 20 years and to see the vitality and vibrancy of the Belconnen community when I drive home of an evening, especially at this time of the year because it is fete season. Fetes are a measure of what might be called social capital. The Liberal Party are fond of social capital, but I do not know about the Labor Party at the moment. There are signs up every week about fetes. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, if you are in Belconnen this weekend remember that between four and seven on Saturday Miles Franklin primary school is having its fete. The band is fine, the sausage sizzle is always great and it has always got a good chocolate wheel. This is one of the manifestations of community in Belconnen that has grown up over many years.

I said the other day that in many ways Belconnen has been a sort of cinderella town centre. I think it suffered from some fairly unfortunate brutalist architecture, but some of the more recent developments tend to soften that somewhat, and we do look forward to the government fulfilling its commitment to a Belconnen arts centre, which I think there is bipartisan support for.

When we look at the development of Belconnen over the years and the growth, from one suburb around Aranda in the days when my old local member Doug Anthony inaugurated Belconnen to today, all of this is tinged with a touch of sadness given the treatment meted out to Belconnen, as with other parts of the ACT, by the Stanhope government. It is rather ironic for Ms Porter to stand up here and say how wonderful it is that we serve Belconnen, when I feel that, although she tries very hard, she is not providing a service to the people of Belconnen.

The Labor Party's birthday presents to Belconnen are many. If those presents were Christmas presents and we had a traditional approach they would be characterised as coal in the bottom of a Christmas stocking. We have pay parking at Calvary hospital. There were a lot of things we could have done to make Calvary hospital better for the people of Belconnen and the region before we introduced pay parking. Of course, we now know that it is a completely failed system but it has been a complete embuggerance for the people who use the hospital. Before the government go in for pay parking it is incumbent upon them to provide sufficient parking for the people who work there and have to visit there. It is ironic that there are many places in Belconnen where you can park for free and buy a beer, but if you are sick or you have a member of the family who is dying you have to pay to park.

The other birthday present that the people of Belconnen have received from the Stanhope government is school closures: Cook primary school, Cook preschool, Giralang primary school, Giralang preschool, Flynn primary school, Flynn preschool, Mount Rogers primary school and preschool. Goodness knows what this government will do to Melba high school and Copland College. They are tinkering with the excellent programs at Charnwood primary school. What effect might that have if they turn Charnwood primary school into a P to 4 school? They are also tinkering with programs at Southern Cross primary school. We have to add to those the list of schools that have already been listed for closure, along with Ginninderra district high, Holt primary school and preschool and Higgins primary school and preschool.


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