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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (29 April) . . Page.. 150..


MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am certainly aware of the matters that Mr Rugendyke has referred to. I do not want to go into any depth in my answer to this question, except to say that the situation that has occurred within the Magistrates Court bench is a matter that I have discussed with the Chief Magistrate. As a result of those discussions, the Chief Magistrate has put in train a process which I believe will satisfactorily resolve the concerns that I raised with him about this matter. I do not wish to elaborate on those, but I am confident that they will be resolved by that process.

MR SPEAKER: I would draw members' attention to standing order 117(d).

Playground Equipment

MR HARGREAVES: During the election campaign - - -

Ms Carnell: You have to address the question to someone.

MR HARGREAVES: Very well. Thank you very much for your advice, Chief Minister.

MR SPEAKER: They cannot all answer at once, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: I am in your debt forever. I shall repay it sevenfold. Mr Speaker, I address my question to the brand spanking new Minister for Urban Services. I thank him so sincerely for the education in vitriol that he has been giving me today, and I shall return that sevenfold too. In the course of the election campaign I had reason to visit quite a number of parks and playgrounds around the electorate at the invitation of some parents who were concerned about their children - something, of course, the Chief Minister will be totally unaware of and totally insensitive to. They had some concerns about the state of repair of the playground equipment. I wrote to the then Minister for Urban Services, who very promptly responded with the advice from his department that most of the playgrounds met Australian standards - not all of them, but most of them. My question to the Minister for Urban Services is: Which playgrounds in the ACT do not conform to Australian standards?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I was also out and about visiting lots of playgrounds, and many parents and children asked about the state of playgrounds. I too wrote to the then Minister asking whether he could look at some of the playgrounds that I thought had defective seats or defective equipment that kids might play on. I am, unhappily, not in a position to answer which of them do not meet standards; but I am more than willing to take the question on notice and get back to you as quickly as I can.

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Minister for his extensive response, and I am heartened that he will take the matter up. I also ask the Minister, by way of a supplementary question, whether he will have the repair and maintenance program examined to ensure that these playgrounds are brought up to speed as a matter of priority and advise this Assembly when that will happen and when they will meet standards.


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