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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 3 Hansard (10 March) . .

Page.. 1015..

Local services

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.54): To continue the theme of today's matter of public importance, I would like to address some of the issues that I see in my electorate. A staff member in my office headed this speech, "The government looking busy in an election year". As you know, Madam Assistant Speaker, 2016 is an election year, and it seems that the government is going all out to make sure the people of Canberra know this.

Every weekday I set up a mobile office at our local shopping centres. At those mobile offices I meet local residents who tell me their concerns about the government's performance, the state of their suburbs and the issues that are personally important to them. You can guess that most of these issues cover things like rates, light rail, stamp duty, bus reliability, suburb and road maintenance and urban renewal. Suburb and road maintenance are particularly prominent, and it is obvious to see why.

Every time a Belconnen resident walks out of the house they are confronted by the appearance of their neighbourhood. They see the cracks in the footpath and the unkempt nature strips. Every time a Belconnen resident drives a car they are confronted again by potholes and loosely sealed roads. I did mention in passing this week that I had occasion to have my shock absorbers repaired after I hit a pothole in Evatt recently. The spare parts supplier was somewhat at a loss as to how I could have possibly broken a set of Peugeot shock absorbers in such a new car. I reported on the servicing of potholes and it took four weeks to have this dangerous pothole marked, let alone repaired. These are things that I hear on a constant basis at my local mobile offices.

People are starting to mention to me that they know it is an election year because the roads are being resealed. It seems that TAMS are out everywhere resealing and mowing lawns more frequently and keeping the parks neat and tidy more diligently. That is not to say this government have started to excel in suburban maintenance. It is just that they have started doing what they should have been doing for the past 3½ years.

Belconnen residents are noticing these things. Belconnen residents are still talking about the lack of maintenance and the poor effort of the government to spend their rates wisely and effectively, but it is now mingled with cynical comments about how they are upping their game because it is an election year. It is not just the people of Belconnen claiming that. They are backed by the government's own figures. The 2015-16 budget states:

This budget provides for more mowing, cleaning and maintenance to spruce up our suburbs.

It also states:

In the 2015-16 Budget, the Government will provide for additional waste collection, street lighting and the maintenance of public places and assets in new suburbs.

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