Page 3638 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 13 September 2017

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Ginninderry—community opportunities

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development. Minister, how is the Ginninderry joint venture, of which the ACT government is a 60 per cent partner, providing opportunities to Canberrans, particularly those in West Belconnen, to gain important skills and pre-employment experience?

MS BERRY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. Those who are local in the West Belconnen community will know of the fantastic training program SPARK, a training and employment initiative which will generate economic opportunities for people in the local community over there in West Belconnen particularly. It is a program that forms partnerships with training providers, with local support organisations and with community organisations. It reaches out to individuals in the community to get them involved in training or work experience with a view to getting employment after they have completed those programs. To date, there have been 304 training places, 136 work experience places and 96 jobs gained by participants in those programs.

The programs include pre-employment, child care and youth employment pathways, as well as business administration. A number of programs are coming up and have already been announced. These are in hospitality and community care, as well as being a partner with a social enterprise which will be well known to Mr Ramsay: the Mower Shed, which was developed in partnership with the local community and UnitingCare Kippax. It is one of the things that were remembered about a former MLA in this place, who assisted with getting that social enterprise up and running. It is about delivering services to people who cannot afford to pay for them themselves. It has already won some work in that area.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what has vocational and pre-employment training such as the SPARK program got to do with building a new community such as Ginninderry?

MS BERRY: The important part of the SPARK program and the Ginninderry development is that it is mindful of the existing community in making sure the existing community is not being left behind in the development of a new community out in West Belconnen. The building of the new community is not just about bricks and mortar; it is actually about building inclusion and bringing locals into that new development but also not leaving the current West Belconnen community behind. It is about giving people who need a job the opportunity to get the training they need to get work in their local community, and the SPARK program is helping with that.

Part of the SPARK program and the arrangement with Ginninderry as they go out to tender for stage 1 of the development includes a requirement for work experience places for people who are part of the SPARK program as well as job opportunities for those individuals.

MR STEEL: Minister, what are some of Ginninderry’s most recent achievements?

Opposition members interjecting—

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