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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 3 June 2021) . . Page.. 1683 ..

The government is also working towards a new high school in the future suburb of Kenny that will be open in 2023. The school will accommodate up to 800 students and include general and specialist learning spaces, a performing arts space, double gymnasium, small group programs, natural turf playing fields, external hardcourts, a kitchen garden and various external learning environments. The high school will be ready for students to commence at the start of the 2023 school year.

To meet public school enrolment demand at the college level, the government has begun planning for a future expansion of north side college capacity. In Molonglo, Evelyn Scott School opened its doors this year. It is Canberra’s second zero emissions school. It exciting to see years of planning and design come together in a new school, and I congratulate the staff and students at Evelyn Scott School as they head towards the completion of their very first year. This $70 million investment will also include a new high school at Evelyn Scott to be built for the 2023 school year.

The government will continue to plan for new schools in greenfield areas of Canberra. However urban infill, urban renewal and population growth in the established areas of Canberra will increasingly be a focus. This will include the inner north, the inner south, Woden and central Belconnen. In the inner north the government is modernising Campbell Primary School. The modernisation will replace older classroom spaces with modern teaching and learning facilities with capacity for up to 450 students. Consideration is also being made to the most appropriate responses to meeting the demand in the inner north. This includes consideration of demand and feasibility in the Northbourne corridor area to ensure public schools can cater for growing demand.

I acknowledge the work of the Standing Committee on Education and Community Inclusion through the inquiry into the management of ACT infrastructure which is currently underway. The ACT government looks forward to its findings and recommendations. I know a number of community responses, including submissions from local schools have already been made to the inquiry, and I assure members and the community that consideration will be given to those responses both through the inquiry and following it. The community’s views on school infrastructure are an important input into future planning and the government will continue to engage with public schools and their communities.

I thank the Assembly for the opportunity today to speak about investment in public education and the planning for new schools in the ACT to cater for growth in ACT public education. I am proud of the free public education provided in each of our 89 schools every day, and once again I take the opportunity to thank all public school teachers for their hard work yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The government is focused on planning for and investing in public school infrastructure to meet the growing demand and ensuring every ACT student has access to their local public school. In the ACT every public school is a great school, and we are committed to building more of them.

I present the following paper:

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