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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 March 2021) . . Page.. 591 ..

Molonglo Valley—community facilities

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. The Molonglo Valley has no purpose-built community facilities for general public use except for the Charles Weston school hall, which is currently heavily booked. Future community facilities in Wright and Denman Prospect have not yet been built. Coombs has what is called a “community activity centre”, which has been constructed but not fitted out and has sat empty and locked up for more than two years. It is a concrete shell without flooring, window coverings, paint, chairs or tables. The developer who built it has been asking for more rent than any community group is able to afford. Minister, when is the official opening of the Coombs community activity centre?

MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Speaker, I will take that. I think it is more of a planning matter, in the way that we procure the land and get it ready for those community facilities to take over in the long run. We have done some very careful planning work in Molonglo. You can see the EPDs that have been done in preparation for the growth of Molonglo, and we look forward to the opportunity for community facilities and shops to take up those proposals in the future.

Mr Hanson: On a point of order, although I accept that the preamble talked about future community centres, it is specifically about the Coombs community activity centre, which is already constructed and awaiting opening. This is not a planning matter; this is a matter of when a facility that has already been constructed is going to be available to the community. It is not about future planning law. I would ask the minister to be directly relevant and advise when the Coombs community activity centre will be opening.

MR GENTLEMAN: Madam Speaker, I do not have that information in front of me. I will take it on notice.

MR HANSON: Minister, will the government subsidise the cost of the centre so that community groups can afford to rent it and use it?

MR GENTLEMAN: That is a matter for government to work with the community on. At this stage we have no plans to subsidise the centre.

MRS JONES: Minister, will you ensure that a minister from this government meets with the Molonglo Valley Community Forum and resolves this issue?

MR GENTLEMAN: Certainly. I look forward to meeting with the Molonglo community forum, and I am sure other ministers, in their portfolios, do as well.

Trees—urban canopy

MR BRADDOCK: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, newly developed suburbs often have the least canopy cover. For example, Gungahlin has four per cent and Molonglo has one per cent. Once plantings have matured, will these suburbs achieve 30 per cent tree canopy cover in their own right?

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