Bambi Kindergarten, Ingleburn North

About this Item
SpeakersMcDonald Dr Andrew
BusinessPrivate Members Statements, PRIV

Page: 26666

Dr ANDREW McDONALD (Macquarie Fields—Parliamentary Secretary) [12.17 p.m.]: Today I speak in support of Bambi Kindergarten in Ingleburn North. Last Saturday I met with Bambi Kindergarten staff and parents to discuss this wonderful preschool's future. Bambi preschool is run out of an idyllic site near the Ingleburn military heritage precinct. Those who visit—and I recommend a visit by all members—can feel the love, care, commitment and sense of fun that pervades this wonderful preschool. I refer members to the speech in Hansard of my predecessor, Mr Steven Chaytor, a graduate of Bambi, on this issue.

As a not-for-profit community-owned preschool, Bambi Kindergarten is unique in the Macarthur area. For some years this site has been earmarked for development as a central part of the Edmondson Park South development. For this reason it remains on yearly leases, which is like the sword of Damocles hanging over its future. The current lease on the site is due to expire at the end of 2011. This may be its last ever lease. For almost 60 years Bambi preschool has provided the highest quality of care to local children—high-quality care that sets the benchmark for others to follow—and for this reason the school operates at almost full capacity. An official memorial to the soldiers missing in action in the Korean War is also on site.

Uncertainty over the future of the school is causing difficulty for everyone involved in this issue—those who wish to send their children there and those who work there. Soon a large number of young families will be moving into the area as part of the Edmondson Park South development. Last week I attended a helpful community information session run by Landcom. Landcom is seeking approval for a concept plan that includes 3,200 homes at Edmondson Park on a 413-hectare site. The plan is on exhibition until Monday 25 October and submissions will be accepted until 5.00 p.m. on that day. This Edmondson Park South development from Landcom will transform the former Ingleburn army camp and surrounds into a thriving community, with new homes, a town centre, and a 150-hectare regional park. Ingleburn North Public School will be expanded and two more schools—one primary and one secondary—will be built. McDonald Road will be moved. This is really a 20-year project.

The development will be within walking distance of Edmondson Park station, which is due to be finished in 2015 and open for business in 2016. There will also be 45,000 square metres of commercial and retail development. One-third of the site will be retained as natural bushland within a 150-hectare regional park, which will protect the important Cumberland Plain woodland. There will be an extensive cycleway network. Landcom will spend millions of dollars to extend the Ash Road sewer carrier into Edmondson Park, and this will provide more than 1,000 homes—outside the Landcom development—with an opportunity to connect to Sydney Water's trunk sewer. There will also be a new zone substation site within Edmondson Park South to supply 7,500 homes. A project approval has been submitted for the first stage of the development, comprising 206 residential lots, 15 environmental living lots, open space areas, trunk drainage, lead-in sewer carriers and electrical infrastructure. Construction is planned to start either in late 2010 or in early 2011.

It is vital for the future of the area that the high-quality preschool at Bambi is retained, and that it be given the certainty it needs to develop its facility. Its preferred option is to remain on the current site. However, other options will also be considered, such as relocating the preschool to an area in close proximity to the heritage precinct, with the name "Bambi" retained. I have written to the Minister for Planning to ask what options exist to preserve this wonderful institution in our area. Helped by goodwill on all sides, I will be working to ensure that in future we provide children in our area with the same high-quality preschool care that has been provided by Bambi for nearly 60 years. I commend Bambi kindergarten to the House.

Private members' statements concluded.
The House adjourned, pursuant to standing and sessional orders, at 12.22 p.m. until
Tuesday 26 October 2010 at 1.00 p.m.