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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3845


Ms COLLINS (FranklinMinister for Community Services, Minister for the Status of Women and Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development) (09:51): I would like to talk about an opening that I attended in my electorate last Friday with our Premier, Lara Giddings. It was the opening of the new child and family centre in Clarence Plains, in Clarendon Vale. This wonderful project has been jointly funded by the Tasmanian and Australian governments. It is a $5.5 million project, with $1.5 million from the federal government and with the remaining amount from the state government, and it will provide parental support along with health and education services for young children. It is actually located in a hub next to the neighbourhood house and the primary school, so there is all this hub of activity for families and community members in the centre of what was previously broadacre public housing estates. It is a fantastic new facility providing some essential support services to local families, particularly early support systems. For instance, a mum who has a new baby that cannot sleep at night can go into the centre and can get some support during the evening and the night as they try to help their baby to sleep and get into a routine or pattern of sleeping. So it is important that these services are provided in local communities, such as this one, where transport to other services is normally a big issue, particularly and obviously at that time of night. It is a really important part of community infrastructure. Part of the funds also went to the refurbishment and relocation of the neighbourhood house, which I have had the real privilege of having an association with over many years of being a federal member.

I am constantly impressed by the resilience and local community spirit of people in local communities and the work that they do, mostly on a voluntary basis, in trying to get some support for their communities and in trying to instil some pride in their local communities, which have traditionally really been up against it when it has come to other community attitudes outside of their local area. It is so wonderful to see these brand new facilities and to have a tour around them to see the cots and the children's play areas. It has just been fantastic. I am really proud to be part of a government that has committed this money to this wonderful project.

As part of our commitment to that suburb and that area, we have also committed $3.5 million to an urban renewal program for the area which is about affordable housing lots for private people to buy into the local area at a reduced cost. All of the works are being done with federal government money and then the land is being sold to private people to build on. So it is great to see that mix of all that public and private and social housing that is now in that community and the wonderful local facilities. It is all making a real difference to the way the community feels about itself and, more importantly, the way that people outside of the community view that local community. It is really terrific to see. I want to really congratulate the local council, the state government and those volunteers that have been working so long and so hard on the consultation process to make sure that they got the right facilities in their local community. (Time expired)