Page 3709 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
MR BARR: I thank Ms Porter for the question; she has been a very able representative of a number of suburbs in Gungahlin and I know takes a very strong interest in the area’s development.
The government has been involved in delivering a significant range of new infrastructure as Gungahlin has developed, particularly in the last decade or so. We have planned, designed and funded the construction of roads, schools, health facilities, sports facilities and emergency service facilities as well as some outstanding public spaces.
The government understands that building knowledge and ongoing learning are essential to the territory’s economy as a whole and to the success of individuals. That is why we have invested so heavily in education facilities across Gungahlin. In the town centre we have opened Gungahlin College, the CIT Learning Centre and the Gungahlin library, facilities that are, it would be fair to say, the best of their kind in this country. All are co-located, and with the development of the adjacent Gungahlin leisure centre, due to open early next year, and the adjacent enclosed oval, we have a magnificent precinct nearly completed. From what was a dusty paddock only a few years back, through the investment of many hundreds of millions of dollars, we have world-class community facilities in the town centre.
We have also constructed an innovative and popular new form of community recreation, the community recreation irrigated park, at Crace, and we are developing another such park at Franklin. In addition, there is a wide array of public walking paths and small and larger playgrounds and a number of nature reserves.
Elsewhere in the town centre, the new Gungahlin Community Health Centre opened in September of last year as part of the government’s health infrastructure program which is being rolled out across the territory. This is located in a precinct that also includes the Gungahlin Child and Family Centre and a wide range of community services provided through Communities@Work. A new primary school opened this year in Bonner, which also houses the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural and Learning Centre. At Franklin, a purpose-built early childhood school has been constructed. The school, which opened this school year, has a 120-place childcare centre and can accommodate up to 300 preschool to year 2 students. We have also provided land for the Catholic Education Office to operate a high school at Nicholls and a primary school in Harrison, in addition to their existing schools at Amaroo and Nicholls.
The government recognises the critical role of the private sector in creating jobs and growth in Gungahlin and has put forward a number of targeted land releases to support continuing residential development and commercial construction. We have sold a site for a new mixed-use group centre at Casey and are in the process of releasing land for a group centre at Amaroo. These complement the local centres that are already the hubs of suburbs elsewhere across the district, and we expect land release for new commercial centres in Moncrieff and Kenny in the future.
The government also recognises the benefits of high-speed broadband and has worked closely with NBN Co, telecommunication companies and the Australian government