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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 313 ..

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Orr for the question. Last week the Chief Minister and I announced $27.4 million in the budget to progress work to build new schools and expand existing schools in Gungahlin. The funding will go to design and preparation work for a new high school in Taylor and the expansion of Margaret Hendry School in Taylor as well. It will also go towards supporting road infrastructure for the new suburb of Kenny and enabling works for a new high school there.

Margaret Hendry School will be expanded to cater for up to 600 additional primary school students, ready for the 2023 year. The new high school in Kenny will be available for 800 students, in time for the 2023 school year. The new high school in Taylor will have capacity for 800 students and will be open in time for 2024. But before then, Canberra will also see expansions to Gold Creek senior school and Amaroo School, as well the new primary school in Throsby, which will be opening in the 2022 school year.

Health—nurse-led walk-in centres

MS CLAY: My question is to the Minister for Health and it relates to the proposed west Belconnen walk-in centre. Minister, with the recent closure of the National Health Co-op in Charnwood, when will the residents of Charnwood and west Belconnen be able to access affordable and timely care at a walk-in centre in west Belconnen?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Clay for the question. The National Health Co-op is an important model of health care and we were all disappointed with the closure of the Charnwood clinic. That was bad news for many people and a very real example of the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 last year. I was pleased at the time that the National Health Co-op was able to relocate its clinicians to clinics in Macquarie and Higgins to provide continuity of care for its patients in Belconnen. Indeed, Belconnen and west Belconnen are some of the best-served parts of Canberra when it comes to accessible GP bulk-billing. There is another bulk-billing practice in Charnwood. From that point of view, the people of Belconnen are relatively well served, considering it is the ACT, when it comes to general practice bulk-billing and primary care.

In relation to our commitment to a new walk-in health centre in west Belconnen, it is important first to understand that this model of care will not be the same as the current walk-in centres. This will provide both immediate care and also ongoing care coordination and preventive health care for the people of the local region.

The budget that the Chief Minister will bring down shortly includes $2 million for feasibility for the four new walk-in health centres in west Belconnen, north Gungahlin, south Tuggeranong and the inner south. That will start the conversation with the community about exactly what is needed, where it is needed and where it could go within the west Belconnen region. Through that work, we will determine the order in which those four new walk-in health centres will be delivered and what exactly they will deliver for local communities, delivering exceptional health care closer to home.

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