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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 December 2020) . . Page.. 79 ..

50 play spaces around Canberra. Our ongoing pipeline of capital works, through the seven new playgrounds that I mentioned, has been ongoing, providing people with work at a time when it was most needed. We continue to invest in local infrastructure projects. I note that, with these small infrastructure projects, we were able to bring those forward, get them out into the community and deliver a benefit for the wider community, and particularly children, as well as creating jobs. One particular landscaping company, Able Landscaping, have been involved in the Torrens and Waramanga projects. They have been particularly appreciative of having this work during what has been a very difficult period for business.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how will the ACT government continue to invest in infrastructure for Canberra kids?

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her supplementary. Work is underway on a play space strategy that will be used to develop and maintain play spaces across Canberra in the future. It is expected to go out for community consultation early in the new year. As part of Labor’s commitments that we brought to the election, we have committed to deliver seven additional playgrounds across Canberra, renewed playgrounds, as well as a destination playground in the inner north. We are looking forward to progressing that and getting on with our election commitments, particularly in delivering these types of facilities. We also want to make sure that our existing playgrounds have enough shade, through shade sails, and fencing playgrounds around the community to make sure that they are accessible and inclusive for a range of different children and families. We are looking forward to getting on with that work and delivering better play spaces for children and families throughout Canberra.


MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, and, unsurprisingly, is related to school closures. Minister, as a proud product of the ACT’s public schools I am passionate about our local schools, particularly in my electorate of Brindabella, and the equity they provide to small school communities. Can you confirm that the Tharwa Preschool program will remain open to enrolment for the 2021 school year?

MS BERRY: I thank Mr Davis, and I am encouraged by his first question on such a positive and joint commitment to our public schools in the ACT. Yes, I can confirm that the Tharwa Preschool will continue to provide preschool education for school students in the 2021 year. The ACT government have confirmed a number of times that we will not be closing the schools and we will not be closing Tharwa. I will not be closing Tharwa, at least while I am education minister. With a shared commitment as a proud public school student myself, and with my own kids going to public schools, I want to make sure—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I would not respond to interjections, Ms Berry.

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