Page 199 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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Gungahlin—skate park—petition 51-21

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.02): The Gungahlin Skate Park needs some love. The existing concrete dates from the ’90s and is cracked and worn, with steel reinforcing bars poking through the surface. Lacking lights, activity draws prematurely to a close when the sun goes down, and the size and range of jumps and obstacles, which were suitable for Gungahlin’s population during the ’90s, is now lacking.

As Gungahlin’s population booms, with an even more rapidly increasing young population, it is critical to develop public realm infrastructure that keeps our young people, and the young at heart, active. This is proven to provide physical, mental, academic and social health benefits.

Lights at Gungahlin Skate Park would allow the park to open up for more usage. It would allow skaters to come down after work or school and enjoy what the local skaters think is the best park in Canberra. A lot of people use BMX, scooters, skateboards and even their rollerblades to escape from their thoughts as they can do something to mentally and physically challenge themselves all the time whilst having fun.

Business could also thrive in Gungahlin to support those who are going to and from the skate park, as more people would use the shops to buy dinner, maybe even go for an energy drink and a ride, or for that late-night session that most of them love.

I would like to thank the principal petitioner, Mr Liam O’Connell, a passionate, articulate and visionary advocate who has opened my eyes to what is possible in the realm of skate parks, as well as to new words and language. Walk around the skate park with Liam and you will recognise a natural leader who connects with and looks out for younger skaters. I commend the petition to the Assembly.

Moncrieff—sludge pit—petition 49-21

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.04): I would like now to talk about the Moncrieff sludge pit. Moncrieff has been home to a sludge pit ever since it was an empty paddock more than two decades ago. As Gungahlin has developed, residences have drawn closer and closer to the pit. The problem is now literally under residents’ noses and they have had enough.

Drying pads, or sludge pits, have an important role to play in our stormwater system. Pollutants traps catch sediment, leaf litter, rubbish and the odd shopping trolley, to prevent them from causing further pollution in our lakes and rivers. These traps need to be cleared and the resultant sludge must be dried before it can go into landfill.

This would all be fine if the impacts of the sludge pit did not spill over onto its neighbours. It affects the amenity of their suburb because rubbish is blown from the pit to a green reserve, and onto roads and neighbourhood properties. Sludge piles are eroded and can end up back in the stormwater system, and the smell of rotting rubbish

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