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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 25 August 2011) . . Page.. 3908 ..

The government has also invested $750,000 in refurbishing the UnitingCare early morning centre in Civic, improving essential services being provided to homeless people. We have also committed $1.7 million for the design and construction of a dedicated space and facilities for older people who live in Tuggeranong. I am pleased to say that the work on the Tuggeranong seniors centre in Greenway has commenced and is expected to be completed later this year.

These initiatives amount to an investment of about $100 million by this government, an investment that will make Canberra a more liveable and sustainable city for all.

MS PORTER: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, how are the community organisations utilising the community hubs as part of the regional community facilities project?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter for her interest. The regional community facilities projects have provided substantial benefits for both the community organisations that occupy the community hubs and the local communities they serve. Having visited most of these, I know that the organisations accommodated represent a broad cross-section of our community. The groups range from Warehouse Circus to Carers ACT, the ACT council of community services and the Asthma Foundation.

In most cases the accommodation of community organisations in the hubs has meant reduced rental payments and allowed those organisations to be more economically sustainable so that they can more effectively pursue their own objectives. Providing organisations with a permanent home has also given them the confidence to grow and develop the range of services they offer.

As there are many community organisations that directly assist children and young people, the ageing, those with a disability and the vulnerable in our community, this government’s investment has directed support to better services for those people. The hubs have also given organisations the opportunity to network with other organisations and improve the good work that they already do. I have already seen the evidence of these partnerships that can develop from the co-location of services in these hubs, and I hope that they continue.

The halls and meeting spaces at the hubs, as well as the neighbourhood halls in Bonython and Griffith, provide a place where groups can gather and meet and develop the social networks and systems that are so essential to building social capital and a more resilient and sustainable community.

DR BOURKE: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Dr Bourke.

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