Page 3176 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 24 August 2005

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the Carnell government addressed by incurring debt via the Actew Corporation. “We are going to fund super; so we will take $300 million out of Actew and put it against the superannuation liability,” which also then, of course, generated a stream of interest which helped balance the budget. I think it typically well fitted within the overall framework of accounting and bookkeeping of the time, which has gone into folklore within the ACT.

I cannot remember any, but I would love to hear again a positive initiative of the Carnell government that has generated wealth, contributed and value-added within the ACT. I will just close the history lesson, Bill. I have not looked it up, but I would be willing to take a small punt that you might have talked about the Kippax library but you would not have provided a cent in any budget for it.

Mr Stefaniak: Have a look, Ted.

MR QUINLAN: I will have a look. It would be unique if you had.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.35): I would like to thank Ms Porter for bringing her motion before the Assembly today. You talked about who did what and who said what. I remember the public backlash against the then Liberal Minister for Urban Services, Tony De Domenico, because of his desire to reduce library opening hours and abolish the mobile library service. I joined the protest and spoke at the community uprising. That is what it was. It was sponsored by the friends of the Erindale library. I was not a member of this place at the time, but I was moved by the community sentiment of it all.

The Stanhope government has been positive towards the development, albeit slower than some would want, of the library service. We have seen the emergence of library on line; the call centre; the heritage library recognised; an enhancement of the mobile library service and the provision of this service to rural ACT; enhanced IT services; the provision of a library in Gungahlin; the construction of the Link library, emerging as we speak; and now we have a new Kippax library, a positive outcome for the people of west Belconnen. That is the fact. The Liberals under De Domenico wanted to wind back library services. The crossbench talked and talked about it. But it took a Stanhope Labor government to do something about it.

I would like to reiterate a couple of the things that Ms Porter has said. The Kippax library has been housed in its current location since 1978. I was living in Holt at the time, just around the corner. It is a 223-square-metre, 26-year-old, demountable classroom. It is no longer sufficient to provide the best possible access for information and recreation services required by the west Belconnen community.

This community as a whole, and the Kippax taskforce in particular, have identified over many years the need for a newer and larger library facility in Kippax. In 2002, the government commissioned the Libraries Alive company to conduct a Kippax library and Belconnen regional services study. The recommendations of the study have been a planning basis for the new library.

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