Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 671..
What we do here is really about the people we serve in the city we call home. Some empathy for Canberrans from the present ACT Labor-Greens government would be much appreciated. Mr Coe's motion today calling on the government to develop a plan to better manage future demands for mowing services, develop clear policies for mowing responsibilities among government agencies and prioritise the delivery of core services for Canberrans is something that the Canberra Liberals feel is needed. As such, I support this motion.
MR SPEAKER: Members, I note that we have been joined by the Rotary Club of Weston Creek in the gallery this evening. I welcome you to the ACT Legislative Assembly.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.18): I want to briefly this evening congratulate Mr Coe for his diligence and the work he does in support of the constituents of Canberra who are at a loss to see how the Stanhope government could be any worse at looking after our services. It is interesting in the course of the debate to find the extent to which some of the letters that we have received from the Chief Minister have been so misleading, and I would like to add my own experience.
Recently I received an email from a constituent who lives in an area backing onto a nature reserve to bring to my attention the state of a very large stormwater drain built behind a lot of houses in Ginninderra. My constituent raised concern that the stormwater drain was clogged with weeds, silt and whatnot. The prediction was—this prediction has not been fulfilled so far—that we were going to have higher than average rainfall over the Christmas-January-February period, and she was concerned that the stormwater drain would not be up to it.
I went off and wrote to the Chief Minister, and the Chief Minister wrote back moderately quickly, within about three weeks, and said, "It's all right. By such and such a date"—I think 11 February—"all of this will be fixed up. The stormwater drain will be fixed."On the weekend afterwards, I happened to be driving in the area and I thought, "I'll just go and have a look."There had been no work done, except somebody had made a cursory attempt at removing a large amount of silt from the opening of a culvert, because the culvert was quite blocked.
I walked most of the length of this very long stormwater drain. There were weeds up beyond my waist, up to my shoulders, for most of the length of it. There was discussion with the constituent as to whether it was appropriate that all of this area should be paved or not. She was concerned that because there was so much weed growth, there would be no capacity for the water to run away. She is quite right to be concerned about this. When I walked to the other end, there was a culvert that was entirely blocked by silt. If we had had a large downfall—luckily, we have not had that—this whole area would have filled up extraordinarily quickly and then overflowed into the houses down the hill from it. This was after I was assured in