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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2746 ..

Mr Connolly: That is you, Harold. He is talking about you.

Mr Hird: Yes, because you guys keep on saying we are going to close it. We are only selling it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Osborne has the floor.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I am aware of the history of Melba. I am aware of the state it is in at the moment, so I personally have no problem with the Government selling Melba. However, Kippax Health Centre is a different story. I have worked out there and have played football with West Belconnen for nearly five years, so I do have a good grasp of what is happening in that part of Canberra.

Mr Moore: But you would not want to live there.

MR OSBORNE: I certainly would not want to live there. I am of the belief that, with the new development out there at Dunlop in the near vicinity, it is imperative for the Government to hang onto that site. So I will support Mr Connolly's motion, with my amendment. In other words, what I am saying is that I will allow the Government to sell Melba but I would expect them to hang onto Kippax. I would have thought, given the amount of public support for Kippax, that this would be understandable on Mrs Carnell's part.

In relation to paragraph (4), I once again support Mr Connolly's motion, with my amendment. What I propose there, Mr Speaker, is to delete "at government-owned health centres" because I am of the belief that we need to maintain the level that we have, if not improve it. However, I think that it places a terrible burden on the Government if we force them to keep the services they have at different places, given the changing demographics of the society. My view about some of the schools in the lead-up to the last election was that they were built a long time ago when they had a totally different population, and I think it is important that we be sensible and move resources to where they are needed. I see a smirk on Mr Moore's face. Mr Speaker, I will support Mr Connolly's motion, with my amendment, because I believe that we do need to maintain the current level across Canberra. However, I think it would severely inhibit the Government's ability to provide these services if we demanded that they keep what they have at the current places when we have to acknowledge that suburbs do get old, and they certainly change.

As I said, Mr Speaker, in principle I support the main thrust of what Mr Connolly is saying. However, I am prepared to acknowledge the facts and I am prepared to give Mrs Carnell a couple of months.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The member's time has expired.

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