Page 4227 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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non-government preschools such as St Anthony’s Early Learning Centre in Wanniassa which I had the chance to officially open in August.

These are just some of the examples of the work that is underway, drawing on a record $85 million capital upgrade budget alongside capital initiatives dedicated to particular projects.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, what work is happening at Campbell and at Narrabundah College?

MS BERRY: As members would be aware, the government has commenced work to modernise two older schools in inner Canberra by upgrading facilities and removing asbestos. Several of the existing buildings at these schools cannot be upgraded to meet modern learning needs due to the presence of friable asbestos. The decision was made—as with many old buildings in the ACT—to make sure that those were safely demolished so that new and more sustainable and suitable classrooms could be built with the school communities.

Over the coming months, the government will be working with the school communities within both of these schools to plan and design learning spaces for the future. In the interim, both schools will have access to high quality transportable learning spaces that will provide classrooms and, at Narrabundah College, specialist learning spaces like science labs.

MR STEEL: What are some of the school infrastructure projects planned for the next few years?

MS BERRY: As have noted, the 2017 ACT budget invested millions in the renewal of Canberra’s school facilities. This is a big investment and a lot of work is happening to put this to its best use. New learning spaces, toilets, change rooms, garden and horticulture facilities, heating and cooling upgrades and energy efficiency improvements are all underway.

School classroom and facilities upgrades are underway at Mount Stromlo High School, the Woden School, and the Malkara School. Lake Ginninderra College and Aranda Primary School will also benefit from projects such as school security enhancements and extra classrooms. The renewal of Canberra’s public school facilities will make sure the government keeps providing our students and staff with great infrastructure and services to support quality learning and teaching.

As well as quality facilities for our students and staff, these are valuable facilities for the wider community. Public schools are more than just learning environments for our young people; they are also the heart of our suburbs, with the facilities being accessed by many local community groups and multicultural and sporting organisations. Our renewal of these school facilities will help keep students and community groups connected and help make these community assets accessible to the wider community. Alongside this the government is continuing to plan for the schools of the future as suburban development continues in Gungahlin as well as Molonglo.

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