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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1358 ..

MR STEEL: I am not sure in what capacity Mrs Jones is asking me this question but I can certainly try to answer for her. I am interested, as a local member, in this matter. Certainly we understand the importance of the provision of community facilities, including in our growing suburbs. I did attend the Molonglo community forum to seek feedback on the range of community groups that may need to be using our community facilities.

Of course we have a range of community facilities already in Molonglo, including our two fantastic public schools, which provide a meeting place for many different community groups. To gain a better understanding, I will be sitting down with the Molonglo community forum to get an understanding about at what times community groups need to use space, what sized community groups and what the levels of activity are, so that we can then look at what the options might be in the short term to provide these sorts of spaces, if they are not being met in the facilities provided through the Education Directorate.

Of course, the long-term plan which Labor brought to the election was to commit to co-designing a new community centre and library for Molonglo. That rightly should be located in the Molonglo commercial centre as the major hub of activity in the future. But we know that in the interim, before that is built, there will be the need for the community to have space. So we are going to have that conversation.

We committed to that process. I am not sure that others on the opposite side committed to that but we are committed to getting on and doing that in consultation with the community.

MRS JONES: Minister, do you, as Minister for Transport and City Services, including ACT Property Group, have a policy under which you could purchase the current unfinished large community meeting place in Coombs, or in the long term will Coombs not have a community space because of this failure?

MR STEEL: City Services does not run ACT Property Group. They are in two different directorates. But certainly we are looking at the range of options to provide community space. Property Group manages our existing ACT properties and it is not usually in the process of building new ones. But certainly we are interested in what the interim solutions could be in the Coombs and Wright areas, noting that there is a new community centre that is being built in Denman Prospect. In fact, the roof has now gone on the community centre; so we are looking at what the range of facilities are. Of course we also have Stromlo Cottage as well that is available for the community. There are a range of community facilities.

We want to just work out with the new Molonglo forum what those needs are so that we can ensure that in this interim period before the new community centre is built in the town centre there are solutions available. We will look at all options. I know that there is that existing, privately owned facility that they have not made available for community activities. That may not be the only option. We will look at all the options available to us.

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