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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1141 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

purposes. All of this leads the committee to think that there is no real need to alter the existing land use classification of commercial, which includes community land use. However, the committee appreciates the concern by local residents for the long-term future of their library facility.

The committee considers it is important that Kippax retain a library facility and members would be concerned if there was any intention to downgrade or cease the library's operations. In this regard the committee considers that the concern of the residents should be addressed by the Government, which should find a prompt way to assure the local residents about the long-term future of the library.

In closing, Mr Speaker, I want to make two final observations. The first is to thank the members of the Kippax Task Force for their hardworking voluntary efforts on behalf of the local residents of Kippax. The second is to note that the committee's consideration of these issues is an example of a committee of the Assembly deciding to acquaint itself with a particular issue even though it has not formally resolved to conduct an inquiry, as we commonly understand that term. There are occasions when this course of action is particularly appropriate. My committee has done it in this, the Fourth Assembly, on two occasions to date - once on Kinlyside and once on the old Ainslie school. Members of the Urban Services Committee think that our activity in relation to planning for community facilities at Kippax Centre is a further example of the usefulness of such activity by an Assembly committee.

I would like to thank those officers made available by the two Ministers in question and also the secretary of our committee, Mr Rod Power, and my two colleagues, Mr Rugendyke and Mr Corbell.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement on the same matter.

Leave granted.

MR SMYTH: I would like to thank Mr Hird and the Urban Services Committee for their examination of the status of these three blocks at the Kippax group centre and for his statement this morning. I am grateful that the committee has taken the time to look at this matter which is of concern to the residents of that area.

It would appear from Mr Hird's statement that the major source of concern of local residents is the future of the Kippax library. Mr Speaker, the Kippax library is somewhat unusual as it is a small library servicing a smaller catchment area than some of our other libraries, and it may be this that has been the cause of the residents' concern. However, I would like to take this opportunity to assure the residents of western Belconnen and any other users of the Kippax library that this Government is committed to the provision of a library at Kippax. I would also like to assure library users that the Government will not be downgrading the status of the Kippax library.

Mr Speaker, we put a lot of effort into the library service across Canberra. We have extended opening hours, arranged Sunday openings and increased the levels of Internet service. Customer satisfaction with the library service grows and grows. It is very pleasing to me, as the Minister responsible, that we are able to provide that wonderful

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