Page 253 - Week 01 - Thursday, 9 December 2004

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children to attend. In fact, I have had quite a bit of feedback from parents about how successful the relocation to Rivett has been.

Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order under standing order 118 (a), Mr Speaker, about being concise and to the point. No-one doubts that good work was done in setting up the Rivett centre, but the question was about when it is anticipated that the Parkinson Street centre will be rebuilt and why there has been a delay.

MR SPEAKER: Sit down, Mrs Dunne. We are getting to the point where points of order are frivolous. Ms Gallagher has five minutes to answer the question and come to the points raised by the questioner.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, I think that it is an opposition ploy to eat into our five minutes so that we cannot answer the questions that they have asked, but perhaps Mrs Dunne will learn, if she is sat down every time over an irrelevant point of order, that she is wasting the time of everybody in this Assembly. Anyway, to follow on from that, the decision to rebuild the Weston Creek childcare centre was made immediately. In fact, members may be aware that in the third appropriation bill, extra money was provided to make sure that the centre to be rebuilt at Weston would be of the size required for that community, which would be a larger centre.

Along with that, there has been a quite extensive police investigation into the fire and an insurance investigation into what occurred there and that has taken a fair bit of time in relation to progressing the redevelopment, but the redevelopment is well on schedule. I cannot give you the exact date, but I undertake to get back to the Assembly with the date, if there is one. The planning work is being done. It will be a larger centre and it will be a better centre. The government, as it has done with everything relating to services for children, has invested additional resources to make sure that when the centre does reopen it will be offering the best care in the best location, with the best facilities possible, something that the opposition never would have done in government.

Gardens and arboretum project

MR GENTLEMAN: My question without notice is to the Chief Minister, through you, Mr Speaker. Could the Chief Minister provide the Assembly with a report on the progress of the Canberra gardens and arboretum project?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Gentleman. I am happy to do so. This is, I think, a very exciting project for the ACT. I think members of the Assembly would be aware that the government announced in December last year plans for an international arboretum and gardens near the western shores of Lake Burley Griffin, from Glenloch interchange and the corkwood plantation to the Molonglo River.

The aim of the Canberra international arboretum and gardens is to create a spectacular mosaic of permanent public gardens and, indeed, a showcase of different trees from around the country and from around the world. Its future, I am sure, is bright as a major tourist and visitor drawcard. I think we can anticipate that, when this particular vision of an international arboretum and gardens comes to fruition, we will have added a significant additional iconic attraction for Canberra. It will be an enormous boost to our tourism potential and capacity and, indeed, to the people of the ACT. I think we all

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