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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1763 ..

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what are your plans for increased capacity across the rest of Canberra?

MS BURCH: We have done some scoping work about childcare needs across the ACT, which is why we are very comfortable that the 110 childcare places will be utilised and welcomed at the Flynn site. I continue that conversation around the second childcare centre that we have committed to and that it will be delivered. We work in partnership with the sector. The Children’s Services Forum and I meet regularly. This is indeed the detail about how we best serve ACT families in regard to the location of the second childcare centre.

Public housing—Bega, Currong and Allawah flats

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the minister for housing and concerns the Bega, Currong and Allawah flats. Minister, if the government intends to pursue a salt-and-pepper approach to public housing, why does the government propose to locate all the public housing tenants within the same area of the proposed new development?

MS BURCH: The proposal for the redevelopment of the flats is an exciting opportunity for a number of people here in Canberra. We are committed to peppering and salting our public housing tenants and to pull down concentration of disadvantage. There have been some public forums, which I understand you have attended.

This is in the very early stages. This is thinking, and thinking about how we can move forward. This work is to engage in a conversation with those tenants, but also people in Reid and Braddon, who will be sharing this community. We need to look first at how we draft a way forward through a draft master plan and a variation to the territory plan. That conversation is ongoing.

There is no final detail about who will be housed where other than our commitment to peppering and salting, to offer affordable housing and social housing. Any design will be environmentally friendly and will reach a six-star rating. There were some comments that they looked a bit wrong facing, but these were just almost design plug-ins so that people get a sense of the space and height of those buildings. There is no way that the future developments will look like a graphical representation of space and height.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, is the development contingent on the Catholic Church agreeing to participate, and what negotiations have you had with them?

MS BURCH: Indeed, we are looking at that whole block, which does include land owned by the Catholic Church. The department is in active discussion with the Catholic Church, and they are willing participants in the discussion. They see the benefits of having that whole site offered for housing. It is a prime bit of real estate. There will be many people with an interest in investing in that area. Those discussions are continuing in a positive way, and they will certainly inform the draft plan as we move forward.

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