Page 1132 - Week 03 - Thursday, 22 March 2012

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MS GALLAGHER: Not that I have been advised, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what input did the government obtain from the community and how was this used in the planning of the Chifley and Pearce community path?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Porter for the question. The project was initiated by a proposal from a member of the Chifley community who successfully sought a funding commitment from both the federal and the ACT governments. The initial objective was to provide a safe and convenient route for residents of Chifley to travel to nearby schools, in particular Torrens primary school. A local consultant familiar with walking and cycling facilities was engaged to develop the design and undertake consultation with the resident who initially made the successful application for the project.

As part of the design process, a community engagement meeting was undertaken in late 2011, where the final layout of the path was presented to the local community for comment. A representative from local cycling advocacy group, Pedal Power, was invited to participate in the consultation, and they considered the project worth while. The plan was well received, with minimal changes requested by community members or Pedal Power following the consultation. The Chifley residents sought to have a wider path than the minimum and Roads ACT was able to accommodate this within the allocated project funds. I think this is a successful resolution to this issue.

As I said, there are many other parts of Canberra where we need to look at how we can encourage more active transport, whether it be cycling or walking, particularly to school. I think the survey released yesterday showed that one out of 10 children rides to school regularly but 90 per cent of parents believe their children’s health would be improved if they were able to ride to school. There is obviously huge potential there to change the way we currently do things.

Schools—Taylor primary school

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training. Minister, yesterday in response to questions about Taylor primary school you said you did not know whether the school would be open next term because you did not have the full reports on the extent of the damage. Given that elsewhere in question time you quoted extracts from the Southside Chronicle, you would no doubt have read in that same article, that departmental officers have suggested it could be another 12 months before the school is reopened. Additionally the Robson environmental report, which outlines the extent of the damage, is on the Taylor primary school website. Minister, when will the school be reopened, and if you do not know, when will you know?

DR BOURKE: I thank the member for his question, With regard to Taylor primary school, the school will be reopened when it is ready to be reopened, when it is safe to do so, when the children will be safe to attend that school. This is the key question in this matter, Mr Doszpot. I will know that when I am advised by my directorate as to when the school can be reopened.

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