Page 726 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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MADAM SPEAKER: Order! I want to hear the answer. I think members would like to hear the answer, Mr Hanson.

MR BARR: Manuka occasional care have indicated that it is unlikely that they will take out a loan in order to acquire the site themselves. They would prefer not to have a more commercial childcare operation. I think it is worth noting that there are a number of commercial childcare operators in this city, and that is not unusual, either. As a result of that consultation, the government has indicated that it can support Manuka occasional care through this process and ensure that they are the tenant in a new building that is on land that has been identified and has been built for that purpose.

I would hope that that opportunity, together with the increased revenue streams that will come from the additional places, will in fact ensure that this not-for-profit organisation is able to flourish in the future. But it does mean change, because it will be a new and bigger site. It will be purpose built and it will meet the national standards for child care. That is an important outcome overall. The government will assist Manuka occasional care through this process.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, does that mean the ACT government will be funding a new building on the Telopea Park School site for Mocca?

MR BARR: No, the government will not be funding a new building. The government will release land to the private sector for the sole purpose of a childcare centre and will facilitate Manuka occasional care to have the first right of refusal to be the tenant in that new facility.

At the moment, Manuka occasional care lease an ageing facility from the ACT government. They do not currently own their building. We are not proposing to be the landlord for this new building, because the private sector can, and will, be interested in purchasing the land and building a new centre. But they will, of course, want an operator, and it is my view that Manuka occasional care can be that operator and should be that operator and have the first right to be that operator.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Chief Minister, in the event that there are no funds or Mocca is unable to take up your offer, will Mocca be evicted from its current site?

MR BARR: The current site is the new site for the Services Club, so there cannot be a new Services Club unless Manuka occasional care moves. So, yes, Manuka occasional care has to move from its existing site in order for a new Services Club to be built.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

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