Page 289 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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During the campaign Yerrabi parents asked me what the government was doing to accommodate this growth. The government has responded to this growth by investing in the community. In the 2016 budget $20 million was allocated to expanding schools in Gungahlin and a further $50 million was committed in the election to build new schools and expand existing schools. This investment is vital to meet the existing needs of the ACT’s growing areas such as Gungahlin, Molonglo and west Belconnen.

All schools are designed and built to accommodate local needs, based around priority enrolment areas. These areas are formed on the basis that every child is entitled to a world-class education in their local area. As an Assembly we need to acknowledge community behaviour regarding education changing. Some parents drive large distances every day to take their kids to popular schools. This impacts capacity and it impacts government planning. When combined with population fluctuations this can reduce school enrolments to below an optimal level.

These challenges were made clear in the February 2016 census enrolments and the 2017 and 2018 enrolment options for Canberra public schools presented by then education Minister Rattenbury. The government currently undertakes a review of each school’s capacity every two years. However the empirical and anecdotal evidence shows there are times when the priority enrolment areas and other policy settings are not keeping pace with community demand.

The inquiry would offer the Assembly a far deeper look at the use of public facilities across the territory and look at ways to support long-term planning and school performance. The parents of Yerrabi asked me for this in the campaign and I am pleased to raise it on their behalf today.

Debate (on motion by Ms Le Couteur) adjourned to the next sitting.

Planning and Urban Renewal—Standing Committee


MS ORR (Yerrabi) (4.02): I move:

That the matter of the interaction of housing types, market settings and land release with changes in consumer behaviour and the goal of achieving greater housing affordability be referred to the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal for inquiry and report.

The government understands how fundamental, stable and affordable housing is to so many parts of our life. One of the key issues for the ACT government and governments across the country is the provision of housing and housing affordability. Improving housing affordability for all Canberrans has been a key objective of the government for many years and has been reaffirmed as a priority going forward by the Barr government.

Young and vulnerable people continue to be locked out of the housing market and the ACT government is committed to removing the inequalities that are blocking young

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