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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 12 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3655..

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Environment—Green Square, Kingston

Motion and petition

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (10.02): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that:

(a) traders within the Green Square Kingston shopping precinct are appreciative of recent improvements to amenities in the Green Square precinct; and

(b) the upgraded paving and seating provided by the Government is not being used to full advantage because of the lack of grassed spaces for families with children to play on; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) take note of the petition circulated by the traders, residents and businesses that outlines the impact that the loss of grassed areas is having on the area; and

(b) work with local Kingston businesses to enhance the space for families in Green Square through the return of grassed areas.

The motion I bring forward today goes to the heart of what the business of the Legislative Assembly should be and what the role and function of us as MLAs should be. It is about listening to the needs and desires of local ratepayers, of Canberra families and of small business owners. It comes as absolutely no surprise to me that as late as this morning the Kingston traders have been advised the government will accede to their request for grassed areas.

It is a victory for common sense. It is a victory for the wishes of Canberra families and Canberra businesses. I hope that that is what pushed the government to change its mind. I hope it was not the fear of negative publicity or the nearly 900 names that are on a petition I wish to table. It is a victory, but I think it is instructive to note what it took, and how long it took, for the government to listen.

This was an issue that has been brought to the attention of government by a group of business owners and their customers. It is an issue that has been pressed for over six months without any real engagement by government and no real explanation as to why their concerns were not considered. The issue is one of amenity and reputation

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