Page 4301 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2005

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Belconnen to Civic busway

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, I refer to plans to establish a busway between Belconnen and the city. Could you tell the Assembly the difference in travel time that the government currently expects to be achieved between the existing Belconnen to city express bus service and the proposed busway service.

MR CORBELL: Approximately up to 15 minutes.

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Minister, how much of an increase in patronage do you think will be needed to justify the $150 million expenditure?

MR CORBELL: The patronage analysis, as Mr Seselja knows, is ongoing to allow the government to make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with this project. Patronage gain is an important issue, as is improving timeliness of services and frequency of services between all town centres and the city centre and other places of employment. As I indicated to Mr Seselja in annual reports hearings last week, detailed analysis is currently under way in that regard.

Youth detention centre

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support. Minister, you recently announced the site for a new youth detention centre in Canberra. Could you update the Assembly on the chosen site?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. On Friday, 4 November I announced that a site adjacent to Mitchell has been selected as the government’s preferred site for the new youth detention centre. This decision was taken following considerable community consultation and investigation by the Office for Children, Youth and Family Support.

As members will know, there were four possible locations—one in Symonston, one in Fyshwick, one in Mitchell and one in further Gungahlin, in Kenny. Against a range of criteria, the government examined all of those four possible locations and undertook fairly comprehensive community consultation over the pros and cons of those sites. It took a triple bottom line approach to assess each site against the criteria. In excess of 10 different criteria were used in the summary of assessments. The Mitchell site, part blocks 740 and 751 Gungahlin, near Mitchell, just off Wells Station Road, came out as by far the preferred site against those assessment criteria.

The Mitchell site is centrally located and has good access to public transport. While slightly separated from existing residential areas, it is still located in an urban environment that can easily offer access to health, education and community resources. This location will enable children and young people in detention to have a continuing involvement in the wider community and, whilst the facility will be screened from view, it will be large enough to accommodate both indoor and outdoor recreation and program areas.

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