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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 651..

However, I am not suggesting that a public servant be employed to look after community gardens. I would agree largely with the sentiments of Mr Coe and Mrs Dunne that organic gardens should grow organically. This needs to be led by the community, not led by the government. What I am seeking in this motion is a small amount of government support to continue and facilitate a movement which is getting too popular for the people who are currently trying to run it. I would be envisaging that any funding for a support person would be going to a community group to provide that support person. I do not see this being someone sitting within TAMS and being the community garden connoisseur or something. That is not the way it would go. The community is the driver.

Mr Coe: The gardener-general!

MS LE COUTEUR: No, we are not going to have a gardener-general; the coordinator-general is enough! Mr Coe also suggested that it was a silly idea to set aside land in new areas. I do not think it is a silly idea. In the past, we developed Canberra on a very low density model. We were the bush capital. We were the garden city, and there was always space for gardens to be retrofitted. As anyone who has gone out to the new areas of Gungahlin would know, we are not developing like that anymore. If space is not set aside for a purpose in the beginning, there simply will not be space for it in the end.

The blocks in new developments are much more compact and there are a lot more apartments and medium-density development. So while there is a lot more demand for community gardens, there is a lot less unallocated, unleased public land. This makes the need to set aside land for community gardens in new areas much more acute than the need would have been in the past. In the past we set aside so much unused space that it was always possible to retrofit community gardens, which is what we are doing at present.

I thank members very much for their support for the concept of community gardens and gardens in general, and I commend the motion to the Assembly.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Territory property—maintenance

MR COE (Ginninderra) (5.17): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the importance of delivering core services to Canberrans, including the delivery of basic urban services;

(b) that mowing unleased Territory land should be a priority for a municipal government;

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