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Acton Peninsula

MS HORODNY: My question without notice is to the Treasurer, Mrs Carnell. Given the fiscal restraint the Government says is required for this year's budget, does the Minister believe that it is financially responsible to spend more than $8m on funding the demolition of the old Canberra Hospital buildings on Acton Peninsula, at a time when the Commonwealth has not committed any funds to new facilities, including the museum of Aboriginal culture, on the peninsula this financial year?

MRS CARNELL: As Ms Horodny would be aware, the Commonwealth Government supplemented the ACT’s budget this year by $15m to compensate us for that purpose exactly. So they gave us $15m extra. Out of that, the agreement was that there would be a swap of Acton and Kingston. So we got the extra land on Acton, and it was our responsibility, out of the $15m, to fund the clearing of the Acton site. We got $15m; and it is costing us $8m. Interestingly, the previous Government, under Ms Follett, had promised the Federal Government $13m to fund infrastructure for the National Museum. So that was part of the initial agreement, which I think I made clear in the house.

MS HORODNY: I have a supplementary question. Does the Government intend to include the cost of cleaning up, planning and developing projects for the Kingston foreshore in this year's budget as well?

MRS CARNELL: That is a matter for the budget, and obviously those sorts of issues will be looked at in the budget context. As I have said time and time again, we will not be progressing with letting government contracts, whether it be for demolition of buildings on Acton or for Kingston foreshore, until the committee has reported. As you would also be aware, Ms Horodny, the basis of the Kingston approach was to have a national competition to look for the most appropriate plans for the whole of the site so that we could have a vision for what we want it to look like before we start.


MR WHITECROSS: My question without notice is to the Minister for Children's and Youth Services. I refer to the Minister's review of Streetlink, which is an ACT government program specifically designed to assist Canberra's homeless youth. Can the Minister confirm that he intends to reduce Streetlink to a service focused on addressing problems of truancy in young people attending government schools?

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Whitecross is quite right; there is a review of the operations of Streetlink. That review is continuing, so it would be very premature to say anything further in relation to it. The review has been going on for some six weeks, but there are further processes continuing. All avenues are being looked at in terms of providing the best possible service. However, there are a few more weeks to go yet.

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