Page 5118 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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MS BERRY: The new school in Taylor will be a modern facility that will be ready to meet the needs of students, teachers and support staff alike. The north Gungahlin P-6 school will have all the amenities our great schools need, with innovative learning spaces for students, a resource centre, school administration and canteen and out of hours school care facilities as well as outdoor learning and play areas. The school will also include specific facilities for music and curriculum enrichment programs including in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics to ensure that we are equipping our students for the best possible future.

There has been a lot of care and thought put into the design of the school that ensures that it will meet not only the challenges of the future but the needs of all students. For example, the new school will provide some non-gender specific facilities to ensure the inclusion of all students, seamless learning spaces and facilities for the inclusion of students with special needs.

I am confident that the new school will be the centre of the growing community in Taylor and provide a great learning experience for students.

MS CODY: Minister, how else is the government ensuring that children in the growth area of Gungahlin have access to education in the ACT’s great public schools?

MS BERRY: Of course, everybody knows that Gungahlin is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions. New schools like the north Gungahlin P-6 will provide greater access and capacity for our great public schools. The ACT government has continued to invest in existing Gungahlin schools to ensure that we meet the needs of students in the region. This year’s budget included $24 million for school expansions across Gungahlin, including works at Neville Bonner, Palmerston and the junior schools at Gold Creek and Harrison. $250,000 has been allocated for early planning for the new school facilities in east Gungahlin. The upgrades at Neville Bonner, Harrison and the Palmerston preschool have all been completed this year, with the Amaroo upgrades ready in time for the 2018 school year.

Planning for future growth in Gungahlin is an ongoing process, with new homes and families moving in each year and with the demand for services, roads, facilities and, of course, light rail coming through next year. The north Gungahlin school has been built for the future, with the potential to expand the school with an extra 44 preschool and 150 primary school places if required to meet demand.

I want to make sure that every child has the opportunity to go to one of our great public schools and that we are meeting the needs in Gungahlin as well as all across the city.

Community services—funding

MRS KIKKERT: My question is to Minister for Community Services and Social Inclusion. ACTCOSS president, Susan Helyar, has pointed out that growth in funding for the territory’s social services providers has not come close to matching our 11 per cent growth in population. As a consequence, fully two thirds of the

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