Page 1121 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 30 March 2011

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professionalising the workforce show our commitment to increasing the accessibility of childcare in west Belconnen and right across Canberra.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.38): The Canberra Liberals will support the amendments circulated by Ms Hunter. We could nitpick, but they keep the thrust of and highlight the important issues in this motion, and I am happy to have them incorporated into our motion.

Amendments agreed to.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.38): This is an important motion, and Ms Burch really needs to learn a few more debating tactics. A little bit of grace from time to time would serve her well. This motion was brought forward because of concerns in the community, and the concerns arose out of attending public meetings about this and having a briefing on the site and asking questions about the time lines for building this. Everybody admits that these are extraordinarily tight time frames, and they have already slipped. I was told at the briefing that the DA was to be lodged a fortnight after that meeting. That was some time last week, as far as I can tell. The DA should already be lodged. We have already missed one of the milestones.

That is why I have brought this matter to the attention of the Assembly here today. We have an extraordinarily large investment of ACT taxpayers’ money, and we have a whole lot of people—about 105 children—dependent upon these places. Their families, their teachers and their care providers are all dependent upon this coming together. I am quite concerned that the minister says it is all going to be finished by 31 December, because they expect to be moving in at the beginning of January.

There is no contingency there. Over the Christmas holidays, it is all going to be tidied away and suddenly, after the Christmas holidays, this is going to be a fully functioning childcare centre. There is no contingency in that timetable for them to move their equipment in, to take the stuff from Alkira and Gumnut and actually move it across Belconnen into the new facility. This is why we have brought this matter to the attention of the Assembly. This is why we have asked that the plans and the scheduling be made available so that there is a works timetable so that we know when things are happening.

I put on the record now that if we get a works timetable that says the plumber is going to start work on 5 May and he does not get there until 10 May, I will not hold the minister to account for that. What we want is a works timetable with milestones in it so that we know this is how we are going to get to the end phase. We want to be able to do that. The minister needs to come back from time to time and tell us whether they are on track to meet that commitment, because these are important commitments for the people of Belconnen.

The ACT government under Jon Stanhope has an appalling track record of delivering things on time and on budget. This is an extraordinarily large budget for childcare places. As a result, we are going to keep this government to account on this.

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