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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 27 October 2010) . . Page.. 5198 ..

(b) ensure it receives and disseminates the best available expert advice on what configuration of pools the leisure centre should have;

(c) ensure the leisure centre includes some mix of space for equipment-based fitness programs, as well as flexible rooms to accommodate a range of programs such as aerobics, dance and yoga; and 

(d) report to the assembly by end February 2011 once the feasibility study is finalised.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5.01): I thank Mr Hanson for raising this issue today. The Greens are in total agreement with the need for residents of Gungahlin to have access to decent pool facilities, just as other people across Canberra do. As Gungahlin has grown, residents have been waiting for their facilities to gradually catch up with those of other areas in Canberra. Next year there will finally be a library in the town centre, which will save a trip to Belconnen or Dickson. And opening in February, hopefully, will be a college, meaning that years 11 and 12 students will finally be able to attend school locally. The college will also double as a CIT flexible learning centre which will provide a range of vocational training opportunities and local access to CIT facilities and courses.

It is interesting to note that Erindale college in Tuggeranong was established in the same way. When it was first built in the 1980s it was an exciting concept in the provision of years 11 and 12 education in the ACT. The college was unique in that it was built as a college in the community. For many years, the Erindale college complex had the only college, sports hall, theatre, squash courts, gymnasium and indoor swimming pool and pool in Tuggeranong. It also had a joint library with the ACT public library service. It was not until many years later when Tuggeranong grew bigger that another college, Lake Tuggeranong college, was built as well with another library. The 50-metre swimming pool was not built until 2008.

However, what Gungahlin residents still cannot be sure they will ever have is a government shopfront. At present, residents have to travel to Belconnen town centre or Dickson to do their ACT government-related errands. As the Greens care very much about the residents of Gungahlin having access to services, one of the items in our parliamentary agreement with the Labor Party is the provision of a government shopfront for Gungahlin. As members would know, the government is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine where such a shopfront will go and how it will work. The building of the shopfront will be a real positive outcome for the residents of Gungahlin.

In terms of the pool proposal itself and the motion today, the Greens certainly agree that Gungahlin needs a pool in the town centre. But what is less clear is exactly what type of pool facilities are needed in Gungahlin. I note that during the 2008 election, Minister Barr did—certainly to everyone outside, I believe—commit to a 50-metre pool in Gungahlin. In his announcement at the time, Mr Barr said that the government is exploring a public-private partnership as one means of delivering the project. He noted that in the 2008-09 budget, the government funded a $100,000 feasibility and design study to look at the best model for a pool and leisure centre in Gungahlin.

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