Page 1722 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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As part of an improved program of events and entertainment in the territory, a national commemorative event to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific will be held near Lake Burley Griffin, with veterans invited to attend from Canberra and throughout Australia.

Priority government projects that will support the restoration, recovery and re-establishment of non-urban areas of the ACT after the 2003 bushfires include the redevelopment of the rural villages, the enhancement of recreational facilities at Stromlo Forest Park, the re-establishment of the Cotter area and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, and the creation of the Canberra international arboretum and gardens.

The government continues to support sustainable transport, with development of the real-time passenger information system and continued investment in cyclepaths en route to shops, schools, bus stops, recreation facilities, and employment centres.

I am pleased to announce that the budget includes funding for forward design and feasibility work on the City West performing arts facility and choreographic centre, and the Belconnen arts facility will shortly progress to the tender stage.

Law and community safety

Mr Speaker, the government has an ongoing commitment to make Canberra a safer place to live. We continue our efforts to build a safe, cohesive community.

The budget allocates $1.1 million for 10 sworn officers to patrol the north district, covering Canberra City, Belconnen and Gungahlin, taking effect from 1 July 2007. A further $1.1 million will be available from 1 July 2008 for a second patrol of 10 sworn officers to be allocated to the south district, covering south Canberra, Woden and Tuggeranong. This is in addition to the extra 20 officers committed to in the 2004-05 budget, 10 of whom will be starting from 1 July 2005.

Mr Speaker, the trial of an innovative circle sentencing option for indigenous offenders, introduced in the last budget, will continue with the allocation of an extra $100,000. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders remain overrepresented in our criminal justice system and circle sentencing is a way of reducing the risk of them reoffending.

Protective security guidelines will be implemented in ACT government agencies. To enhance the government’s contribution to national counter-terrorism arrangements, an additional $100,000 is provided, adding to the $267,000 allocated last budget for a security coordination unit.

Mr Speaker, the government is also establishing a register to track child sex offenders and commits recurrent funding of $100,000 to implement this register, which will be part of a national register of sex offenders.

Sport and recreation

In the area of sport and recreation, the government is committed to improving the health

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