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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 950 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I could have suggested a time line. However, I thought that, by leaving it open, the government would be able to incorporate it into the master planning process-which I believe does need a firm date. Then, as funding becomes available-it may not be in this budget-the community facilities can begin. By putting a firm date on it, and having that time line made public, the community can at least be assured that action is taking place.

I note that, when the Minister for Planning was a member of the previous Assembly's Planning and Urban Services Committee, that committee's report No 72 on Draft Variations 158 and 163 discussed the issue of Kippax. The report's recommendation No 8 stated:

. . . That land in the Kippax Group Centre be set aside for a permanent Kippax Community Centre compromising (and integrating) a new and permanent library, Meeting rooms, a health centre, display areas, provision for Senior Citizens and for youth, and possibly an ACT Shopfront. The integrated centre should facilitate community access. Also, the integrated facility might usefully incorporate space to be used by local members, and by ministers, when seeing constituents.

As a member of this Assembly's Planning and Environment Committee, I know that reports of such committees are not always taken on board by governments and, even though the committees are multi-partisan, the decisions of the committee are not always binding on the parties represented there. I accept that as part of the committee process. This indicates that the issue has been around for a number of years and that this Assembly has heard before, and is hearing again, that we should be setting aside land in Kippax for a permanent community centre and a permanent library-and that the area should facilitate community access.

I would have appreciated it if the former government had picked up this recommendation from the former Planning and Urban Services Committee report No 72. Had that been set up in the last budget, as we were undergoing meetings with constituents, we would have been able to do that in Kippax. However, at this point in time, we cannot.

The library facilities at Kippax are incredibly small. I have met with constituents in the Kippax library. We had to sit around a small children's play table because there was no other space-there were six of us crammed into the back of the room. That is not a comfortable way to have a community meeting, but it was the only space available.

West Belconnen is a growing area. We have already had much discussion about the land release program and the demands being placed on that, but Dunlop continues to expand. Those residents are using Kippax as their main shopping centre because the Belconnen shopping centre is another 15 minutes away. Kippax has become their hub. It is servicing a growing population, and yet, quite frankly, it has been ignored again and again by consecutive governments.

Here we are, two years after report number 72 from the Planning and Urban Services Committee, and we still see nothing. The budget continues to have $270,000 in it for the design of the library and the community centre. That was rolled over from the previous budget because it was unspent. Yet, as far as I can ascertain, the design phase cannot commence until the ACT government has confirmed the site for this community centre.

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