Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (15 November) . . Page.. 3539..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The festival was very successful and I congratulate all those who were associated with it. I made the point in a short address I gave at the festival that it was very important as we celebrated 40 years of community through the establishment of Belconnen that we acknowledge that the electorate of Ginninderra derived its name from a creek which flows through Belconnen. The creek was first identified by the early settlers of Belconnen as "Ginin-ginin-derry Creek", a word which was explained, deciphered or interpreted by Europeans at the time who had a grasp and some understanding of the Ngunnawal language as meaning "sparkling water"or "rippling water"-a reference to the effect of the sun on the moving waters of Ginin-ginin-derry Creek.

As we celebrate those 40 years it is pertinent and very relevant that we acknowledge and recognise that the indigenous residents of the ACT, those with a continuing connection to the land, are, of course, celebrating 26,000 years of connection to not just Belconnen but, indeed, the whole of the ACT. We need to keep in mind that historic perspective and acknowledgement of that prior ownership of 26,000 years as we celebrate the 40 years that the community, suburbs or township of Belconnen have been established.

Belconnen, which is home now to just over 80,000 persons, is a strong and increasingly vibrant community with much to celebrate. This government certainly wishes to continue to work with the people of Belconnen in ensuring that they will always have things to celebrate. There is much work, development, progress, regeneration and renewal, which is vital to any continuing, viable community activity being undertaken around Belconnen. At the age of 40 some of the infrastructure is ageing, and we acknowledge that. We see it in the complete refurbishment which is currently under way at the Jamison Centre. I visited the Jamison Centre yesterday and the work is now well advanced. New shops have opened within the centre. Jamison, which was the first suburban shopping centre to be developed in Belconnen, is itself being redeveloped, and this is a sign of the maturing or ageing of Belconnen as a whole.

The government recognises and acknowledges this in relation to the massive injection of funds into education which is at the heart of the government's commitment to the renewal of public education in the Australian Capital Territory. Belconnen will receive the major portion of the $190 million which is being invested through our last budget in the renewal of the educational infrastructure of our schools throughout the ACT. That is a massive injection of funds for education. It is a massive contribution to public education through this last budget. There is an investment of $190 million through a single budget into public schools within the territory.

If one were to extrapolate on a pro rata basis that $190 million provided in a single ACT budget to, say, the budget of New South Wales, one would find that the figure would translate to probably a couple of billion dollars. I notice that the Premier of New South Wales recently made a great splash of a $120 million investment by the New South Wales government in school maintenance renewal for the whole of the state of New South Wales. This is essentially the same amount-excluding, of course, the significant investment in the Ginninderra district high school in Harrison-that this government is making through the $90 million direct capital aid upgrade and the $20 million IT upgrade of schools in the territory.

Next page . . . . Previous page. . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . Search