Page 1331 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 April 2005

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There is a real issue with the attractiveness of Civic Square as a place of, as you say, visitation or reflection or of utility by the people of Canberra. I personally believe it to be perhaps the most under-utilised space in Civic. I have always felt that one of the great attractions—almost the attraction for the placement of the library in Civic Square—is the capacity to draw into this major public space that very significant public library clientele. I understand that there are in the order of 110,000 visits to the Canberra library annually. It seems to me that the location of the library in Civic Square and its ability to draw into Civic Square those 110,000 people as they visit the library is the most powerful argument for supporting the location of the library in that space. Civic Square will become a focus; it will become a genuine public space and not the desert that it generally is throughout the year.

In fact, Civic Square—particularly through winter—is one of the loneliest and bleakest places in the heart of the city. I think it desperately needs some attempt at enlivening it, giving it some life and allowing it to be what we would hope for it—namely, a genuine heart for the city. It is a bleak, barren and most unfriendly place—rendered unfriendly, I think, by the absence of people. It is a place that essentially is ignored, constantly, regularly, repeatedly by the people of Canberra. That is why I support, along with the previous government, the location of the library in Civic Square.

DR FOSKEY: Given then that perhaps we both agree on the need for the redesign of Civic Square, I do not necessarily feel that you addressed that part of my question—

MR SPEAKER: Dr Foskey, come to the question. There is not to be any preamble in supplementary questions.

DR FOSKEY: Thank you. Over what time period and with whom is the government consulting on the possible redevelopment of Civic Square?

MR STANHOPE: This government and the previous government, over a four-year time frame, consulted extensively with the community, through public consultative processes, to locate the civic library in Civic Square. There will the development of a library in Civic Square. Construction has commenced. There will be no further development, over and above that, in Civic Square. I do not anticipate any more consultation on the development of a library in Civic Square. Consultation is complete and construction has commenced. There will be, as far as I am aware, no further development of Civic Square, over and above that of the library, which is currently under construction.

Disability services—insurance claims

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Is it the case that Disability ACT has refused to provide adequate detail about potential claims for compensation against the department to the Insurance Authority? If it is the case, why is your department refusing to provide adequate detail about these claims to the Insurance Authority?


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