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Wednesday, 21 October 2015
Page: 11982

Mr SUKKAR (Deakin) (13:34): It is wonderful to be able to highlight the forthcoming opening of the Centre for Regional Knowledge and Innovation at Ringwood, which has been completed as part of the $665 million redevelopment of the Eastland Shopping Centre. The centre, named Realm, will create 10,000 direct and 16,000 indirect jobs and generate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of productivity for local businesses, including in the manufacturing industry. Located at the Ringwood Town Square, it has been completed in conjunction with the Maroondah City Council and includes state-of-the-art facilities, with key features including a new library; a comprehensive customer service centre combined with regional information services; a designated art gallery combined with exhibition spaces throughout the centre; flexible learning spaces for use by various community groups, universities and other organisations; a cafe; and an interactive local history display. Importantly, it will also provide education and skills training, business development and job opportunities for local residents and business.

As part of this year's budget, I was really thrilled to be able to secure $3 million of funding to ensure the completion of this centre to a very high standard. I am very proud of the way that it will be a key civic space for people not only in the Deakin electorate but throughout the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.