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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5841 ..

MS BURCH: I thank the member for her question. The construction of both Bonython and Griffith halls has been completed. Both halls are open for use by the public. The ACT government’s investment of $1.2 million in the Griffith neighbourhood hall and $1.1 million in the Bonython neighbourhood hall will provide a fantastic resource for Canberra residents. I note that at that opening both Mr Doszpot and Ms Bresnan attended as local members and saw the structure firsthand. It is a good facility and it is well located.

The halls will function as a focal point and venue for meetings and activities for families and social and community groups. Each is equipped with a large hall, a meeting room, two kitchens, an office, toilet facilities and an outdoor meeting space. Communities@Work will be managing the Bonython hall and south-side services will be managing the Griffith hall. Community organisations have already registered a strong interest. The Griffith hall is currently being used by groups such as Gaby’s Dance Studio and Jumptown, and the Bonython hall is being used by groups such as Jazzercise. We have provided $200,000 to help fit out these brand new community hubs and neighbourhood halls, including funds for chairs and tables and equipment to fit out the shared kitchens across Bonython and Griffith.

An additional four community hubs containing halls and meeting rooms will be refurbished under the facilities project. I look forward, as I have said, to welcoming the community groups that use those facilities.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Minister, through you, Mr Speaker, how is the government supporting local community organisations through the regional community facilities project?

MS BURCH: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves. The regional community facilities project provides substantial benefits for local community organisations. Thirty-nine community organisations will now be accommodated in the community hubs in Holt, Weston, Chifley and Cook. Having visited some of these sites, I know that the refurbished rooms will be well used by Canberra’s community groups. These organisations represent a broad cross-section of the Canberra community and providing them with a permanent home gives them the confidence not only to continue to deliver their services but to grow and develop the range of services they presently offer.

I know that the Canberra community values community engagement, and the halls and meeting spaces that are being provided will act as focal points and meeting venues for families as well as social and meeting groups. At a recent open day for the Cook community hub, many local residents took the opportunity to discover what groups were at the hub and what services were available. They include playgroups, ballet classes, the University of the Third Age, theatre groups, genealogy, just to name a few. And I have already seen evidence of the partnerships developing from the co-location of these services in these hubs and I hope that they will continue.

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