Page 3948 - Week 10 - Thursday, 28 August 2008
increased by 106 per cent, social housing by 74 per cent and disability funding by almost 70 per cent. More services are being delivered on the ground to meet the demands that the Canberra community puts on them. These are significant investments and they highlight the government’s preparedness to support those who are less fortunate.
Finally, in the time I have available I must turn to the issue of a vibrant city and building great neighbourhoods. The government has overseen the transformation of Civic over the past few years into a modern and vibrant hub. We have commenced the Planning and Development Act, the new territory plan and associated regulations to improve development assessment procedures and reduce costs. We have funded a $26.4 million refurbishment of the National Convention Centre, allowing it to re-emerge as a leading and high-quality conference and event facility.
We have upgraded more than 100 local playgrounds for young families and we are changing the Belconnen Lake foreshore, transforming it with extensive promenades and a new arts centre. Shopping centres at Hawker, Griffith, Higgins, Holt, Jamison, Mawson and Kambah have all been renewed thanks to the government’s program of local centre renewal. The government has introduced the popular ’round town program of suburban events to foster community engagement and neighbourhood identity. We have proudly initiated a percent for arts scheme to fund public art in our community.
We have built a new Griffin Centre and Theo Notaris Multicultural Centre. We have opened the new Civic library and the new Kippax library and refurbished the Belconnen library. We have done things that have been leading edge. We have initiated the Childers Street project, which represents a major public sector investment in the implementation of the City West master plan, which has helped transform that part of the city centre. This $6 million project features infrastructure and street furniture to make the Childers Street precinct a vibrant gateway. It is an investment which will be seen in years to come as essential to creating a new and different city centre which leads the country.
A major investment by this government is the construction of the $11.5 million Canberra Glassworks, a landmark cultural attraction and glass art facility located in the historic Kingston powerhouse. This government has focused also on building a sense of identity for Canberrans by fostering and sponsoring major community celebrations—things such as our public programs to celebrate Christmas, New Year, Australia Day and Canberra Day.
Mr Speaker, this is a comprehensive list of achievements by the government but it is by no means exhaustive and it does not mean that there is still not more to be done. But any commentary in this debate about service delivery, if it fails to ignore the significant delivery of a range of services, investment and improvement, is shallow commentary. That is what we have come to expect from those opposite, but I am proud to have placed on the record this government’s achievements of service delivery and our renewed focus on continuing to improve that program of service for the Canberra community.