Page 3609 - Week 11 - Thursday, 22 September 2005

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Richmond Fellowship offices
Former Macquarie hostel site

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning, and Acting Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Acting Minister for Women and Acting Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.58): I move:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

I rise in the adjournment debate this evening to mention two very good events that I had the pleasure and the opportunity of attending today. The first was this morning at 9 o’clock when I joined with members of the Richmond Fellowship and the Canberra Schizophrenia Fellowship to open the Richmond Fellowship’s new offices in O’Connor, at the O’Connor shops.

The Richmond Fellowship, for those members who may not be aware, provides a range of very important services to the broader Canberra community. Amongst them is the Canberra accommodation network, which provides supported accommodation and support for people with a mental illness who are rehabilitating themselves and reintegrating themselves back into the community.

The Richmond Fellowship had previously been scattered across Canberra at a range of offices and locations, and I was delighted to be there this morning when the Richmond Fellowship brought all their offices together into a single location in a building owned by the ACT government adjacent to the O’Connor shops. They have been able to work in partnership with the Canberra Schizophrenia Fellowship, which previously had a tenancy over this building they are now in, as well as an adjacent building. The co-location of these two organisations will create a lot of synergies between their respective roles. They do have very similar but complementary roles that they perform in supporting people with schizophrenia and with mental illness more generally.

I was delighted to be there, and I would encourage any members who have an interest to go out and see the new accommodation for the Canberra division of the Richmond Fellowship. I was very pleased also to be joined by the chairman of the fellowship, Chief Magistrate Cahill, and other representatives of the board and the organisation for that event this morning.

The other event which I really enjoyed today and to which I would like to draw the attention of members was the turning of the sod for a new hotel development in Canberra. Many members would be familiar with the Macquarie hostel and the essential role that that building played for so many years in the life of Canberra as a home and haven for many public servants who had nowhere else to go when they first came to the national capital. That site was sold by the commonwealth some years ago and was purchased by a local development and property-owning company, the DOMA Group.

Today I was pleased to formally get under way their work for a new five-star hotel in that location. The government has wanted to support and facilitate additional commercial accommodation in Canberra, particularly four and five-star. All members of this place

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