Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 August 2005) . . Page.. 3172 ..
reading about their cultures and traditions as I took the books home. Little did I know that one day I would live in such a far-away place and even be a representative of one such place.
The new purpose-built facility at Kippax will provide readers with the opportunity to experience their own adventures in an environment that they have been waiting for since 1978—an environment they deserve. I am proud that I am part of a government that could deliver this facility and look forward to making use of it at every available opportunity. I encourage everyone in this place to do the same.
MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (4.19): I suppose the government is in need of a self-congratulatory motion like this when they have had so much trouble getting people to write nice letters to the paper about the Chief Minister, as poor old Greg Friedewald’s wife had to get involved in.
In relation to the Kippax library, though, I listened with interest to what Ms Porter said. I am a fellow member for Ginninderra. Of course the opposition welcomes the library. But let us get a few things straight about the library, because there are some misconceptions that she has in her speech. She is a new member; so she might not be aware of the history.
Yes, the library was a temporary library, which had about 30 or so hours a week—maybe 31 hours a week. Back in 1994—in May 1994, I think—I went to a demonstration there, which you, Mr Speaker, went to. I must admit I felt somewhat sorry for you then, having to defend a decision by the Follett government to close the library, which you did not perhaps believe in yourself.
Luckily that did not happen. We had a change of government. Whilst we did not exactly have a lot of money—we had this very big debt we had to overcome—we did manage to extend the hours of that library. It was not a huge amount—not as much as I would have liked—but certainly the library hours were extended by several extra hours a week. When, finally, the budget got into the black, steps were then taken to build a permanent library. I recall some money being put in for the initial stage of designing and siting. I recall it was $100,000.
Then the government changed. To your credit, rather than attempting to close it, like the previous Labor government did, you went ahead with it. As a result of the very strong financial position the territory was in as a result of good management at the federal level by John Howard, and good management at the local level by the Carnell government, you had money to spend on it. Yes, it will be a good library.
A couple of points need to be made about it. I am bit concerned that, in the consultation phase, probably a majority of local residents would have preferred the library to have been built on the same site. It is built on an old car park. I think about 24 car parking spaces will be lost to the area. There was certainly a bit of controversy about that. There is probably still a little bit of residual concern that maybe this could be on a better site.
I am sure most of us, including certainly the Ginninderra members, would have received letters from the Kippax taskforce about a particularly nasty substation, which is about 2 metres long. I forget the width. It is in a very difficult position. I think it is right in