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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 783 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

He went on to say:

In November 1997, the Government announced that Belwest, in association with Pinto Homes Pty Ltd, was the preferred tenderer for what is 7.4 hectares of land which includes in excess of 7,500 square metres of floor space within the school buildings, a magnificent oval and the capacity to build between 50 and 70 medium density accommodation units, suitable for aged persons units.

On 24 December 1997 a new company, Belwest Juniors Limited, was created out of a decision of the Belwest Foxes Soccer Club Inc., one of Canberra's more prominent junior soccer clubs. The Company's prime role will be the development and management of a licensed club in some 4,000 square metres of the school building. The licensed club will be known as `Belwest Juniors Limited'. It will incorporate a bistro, restaurant, a bar and a sportsman's bar, coffee lounges, a gaming room, a ball room, function rooms, a very large gymnasium and fitness centre, games rooms for children and wide range of community facilities. The community facilities include a common secretariat in which local sporting and community organisations will have access to supported office services.

Within the school building but outside of the licensed area, we plan to incorporate a medical centre, child care and child minding facilities, dormitory style accommodation for visiting school and sporting groups and an arts and craft area. As part of the development 50 to 70 medium density units suitable for use as aged persons units are proposed.

Over the past 12 months the development group have met regularly with community groups in the Charnwood/West Belconnen area. Without reservation, the community has been supportive of the Belwest proposal.

Part of Belwest's ethos during the planning phase has been the need to ensure a responsible community stance by the Club. We recognise that there are and always will be problems in sectors of the community where gaming or gambling occurs. We also recognise that with a managed sensible approach on behalf of the Club we can provide assistance in these problem areas as well as providing to the local Charnwood community much needed facilities and community services.

For example, consideration has been given to providing real and ongoing support to the Charnwood Primary School, surely one of Canberra's less well off primary schools, where many of the children already go without breakfast and regularly go without lunch.

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