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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2391 ..

great for continuity of care and it is something quite special within Australia that we have that service available to people in Canberra’s AMC.

Molonglo Valley—community facilities

DR PATERSON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how is the ACT government providing community space for Molonglo Valley’s growing population?

MR STEEL: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. I am pleased to outline how our government is continuing to invest in new community facilities across our city. Community facilities do provide essential social infrastructure for new suburbs and regions and ensure that these places grow to become strongly connected communities. This is precisely why we are focusing investment on Canberra’s newest region, the Molonglo Valley.

As I outlined in response to the ministerial statement earlier this week, the Molonglo Valley has grown from around 27 residents in the 2011 census to 4,500 residents in the 2016 census and approximately 10,000 residents today. We will get a better number next year once the census is released.

Our government is making the essential investments now that are needed in anticipation of future population growth. Recently I was very pleased to announce that the government will provide 300 metres squared of space for the Coombs community activity centre for use by residents of the Molonglo Valley in Wright, Coombs and Denman Prospect as well as future Molonglo suburbs. Located on Woodberry Avenue, this space will be a hub for recreational, educational, artistic, social and cultural activities, and it will be one of the main community spaces in Molonglo while other facilities become established. We are pleased to have identified this opportunity to provide a temporary facility ahead of the construction of purpose-built facilities in the future.

DR PATERSON: Minister, what are the next steps to make this space available to the community?

MR STEEL: As I alluded to in my previous answer, the space will be adaptable to cater for a wide range of community activities and services. As the government became aware of the possibility of leasing this facility, we engaged with the Molonglo Community Forum—as it was then known, before it became a community council—to gauge how community groups would like to use the new centre, when they would like to use the centre, and the types of programs and activities they would like to use it for.

I thank the forum for running that expression of interest process, which received feedback from a large number and variety of groups. It is good news for those community groups, because the community activity centre will allow up to 100 people to meet in a flexible space. Over the coming months, the ACT government will undertake a fit-out of the space to make it ready for community use in early 2022. While this fit-out is occurring, the government will be seeking expressions of interest

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