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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2010) . . Page.. 267 ..

construct a second mosque for worshippers on the northern side of the city. I think it is important that the location of the centre meets the following objectives: that it is of sufficient size and location to accommodate their needs; that it is at a location that can easily handle traffic and parking; that it is accessible to public transport; and that it is at a location that is acceptable to all concerned.

The Canberra Muslim community have been dudded by the ACT government. Perhaps if the government were not so obstructionist towards community groups when they seek blocks of land, community groups would not feel compelled to accept any block that is offered to them after years of jumping through hoops. It is in the best interests of the Canberra Muslim community and all Canberrans that the new location for a mosque is at the most suitable site. I have been told by representatives of the Canberra Muslim community that they are keen for the mosque to be a part of the surrounding community and to be in a location welcomed by nearby residents.

It is important to note that the block of land in question has always been classified as a community facility zone. The conversation now must be about what is a suitable use for this block of land. An expanded car park for the shops could be one such use. In conclusion, the right decision has been reached for the residents of Nicholls and the Canberra Muslim community. It is a shame the ACT Labour government mishandled and misled all concerned for such a long time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 9.33 pm.

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