Page 3170 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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As we spoke about this morning, the west Belconnen area is enjoying significant delivery of services from the Stanhope government, and the unveiling of the $3.5 million Kippax library is yet another example of this government’s long-term commitment to the cultural and educational growth of the people of the ACT and the people of west Belconnen in particular. I have no doubt that the Belconnen Community Council, whose meetings I regularly attend, will be delighted with the launch of this new facility.

While the temporary facility was well utilised and much valued by most of the community, the complex itself had long passed its use-by-date. This facility, at over 800 square metres, is almost four times as large as the temporary facility which has been used to house the Kippax public library collections until this point. This extension of floor space means not only a more pleasant environment for the users of Kippax library but also the library now has the capability to increase the size of their publicly available catalogue and provide even more facilities for communal use, thus enabling the further instigation of community activities, which this government has committed to sustain and encourage.

The government has also further delivered on its commitment to the public provision of information technology education, through the provision of a multipurpose community room, with 10 computers for public use, including six with free internet access and two with the capability to run advanced software such as dream weaver, photoshop and Microsoft office. In yet another example of the government’s commitment to its diverse community, the computer facilities also provide free-of-charge software which can be used as an aid for those studying English as a second language.

The financial commitment to this facility does not stop with the construction of bricks and mortar, of course. The package includes a further $595,000 to increase the size and diversity of the library’s catalogue, enabling readers to widen the range of their study and recreational reading.

It is important that our community embrace the advent of new technology, and we all know that ACT residents do. However, at the same time, we need to continue to appreciate the more traditional features of a library. This library allows for both. The increase in the collection will enable the library’s catalogue to complete its leap into the 21st century, with the introduction of DVDs, audio books and picture novels, as well as allowing for the leasing of contemporary CDs. Libraries are no longer seen as long halls of books and papers but a place where the written word exits alongside the most advanced forms of communication—an enriching and exciting environment.

I am proud to be part of a government that has delivered a 21st century library facility to the community I represent, and I personally look forward to using this facility. I am sure that I will not be alone when using this facility, because it has essentially been designed by and for the community it services. During the design, preparation and planning stages of the library project, the west Belconnen community was involved in numerous discussions with both government and design officials.

As well as this, the Department of Urban Services hosted a number of community fora during the design and construction phases; and emerging from these meetings were an abundance of positive suggestions which were eventually incorporated into the final

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