Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3315 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

childcare centres were turning away children and their families, the Liberal Party did nothing.

I remember asking a question in the Assembly at the time of the then minister, Mr Moore, and he said there was no crisis. There were 250 families on the waiting list for childcare centres in Gungahlin, and Mr Moore said there was no crisis.

Last year I joined the parents at the Nicholls and Ngunnawal childcare centres in calling on the Liberals to act. They failed to, but I am pleased to report to members of the Assembly that this government has acted.

Indeed, this government has invested $700,000 and has already put in place an additional 54 childcare places in the Nicholls and Ngunnawal childcare centres to try to meet some of the demand for childcare facilities in Gungahlin. An additional 54 places are already operating, through two new transportables.

An additional $2 million will be spent on a permanent childcare facility in Gungahlin town centre, which will accommodate close to an additional 100 children. This government, in its term, will boost childcare facilities overall by over 150 places, something the previous government could only seek to emulate.

But the government is doing much more than those two initiatives. It is investing money in additional schools: a new preschool, a new primary school and a new high school for the Gungahlin area.

What did this mob do when they were in government? They knew that the Nicholls, Palmerston and Ngunnawal schools were at capacity, and yet they deferred the construction of new primary schools and new high schools for two consecutive years. They delayed those capital works projects, so instead the kids had to go into the classrooms of existing schools in crowded facilities. They refused to spend the money on capital works to improve education provision in the Gungahlin area.

Again, I am pleased to report that this government has acted to deliver an additional $28 million for the building of a much-needed primary school and a high school in the Gungahlin area. The primary school will open in Amaroo in 2004 and the high school in 2005. These schools should have been built over two years ago. The previous government failed to act; this government is addressing the issue.

I was very pleased at lunchtime today to be out in Amaroo and turn the first sod for a new preschool at Amaroo. The government has set aside $1 million to build a new preschool at Amaroo, and that construction is also under way.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition, if you want to have a conversation, there is a lobby especially constructed for your comfort out there.

MR CORBELL: I can understand their embarrassment at their neglect in acting on this issue and their failure to put the money into Gungahlin to deliver the educational facilities that community needs. But this government is serious about doing so.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .