Page 294 - Week 01 - Thursday, 10 February 2022

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to me and directorate officials, about what they needed throughout the coronial experience.

These sessions were genuinely very difficult—to hear about people’s trauma—but they also gave us something very precious. They told us their stories and shared what, for many of them, is the most difficult time of their lives: losing a loved one, especially when it is unexpected. I am very grateful for having had the benefit of this understanding from families who have lost loved ones and from workers such as first responders, healthcare workers and coronial staff. It is very difficult to experience loss, both directly and indirectly. Going forward, our task is to honour those experiences that were shared with us. None of this beautiful experience could have been possible without the sensitivity and care afforded by Kerrie and Niamh, ably assisted by their colleagues in Relationships Australia.

It was clear to me, as soon as I attended the first of these three sessions, the great care that had been put into them. Kerrie and Niamh had artfully arranged the room in a circle, had a private debriefing room set aside in the back, and in the centre there were stones and each of us was asked to write on a stone a word that summarised what we were hoping to get out of the day. We also made sure to put the lost loved ones at the centre of our thoughts by having their names and pictures, and perhaps mementos, at the centrepiece as well. This really helped cement for all of us the solemn duty we owed to their memories. Kerrie and Niamh provided the safety and security for each person, one by one, to be vulnerable and tell us what was so hard but even more important to hear.

Being able to hear from and respond to the people with lived experience that we heard from that day has set a very promising foundation for the reform process that we will embarking upon over the course of this year. Being able to draw on the stories I heard on those days is a great gift to ensure that we have clarity of purpose, moving forward. So I am extremely grateful to Kerrie and Niamh, to Relationships Australia and to the families and workers who attended on those days. We will work hard here to honour the effort that has already been made, the contributions that have been made, so that we can deliver a much-improved coronial system here in the ACT.

Umbagong District Park—bridges

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.02): I rise to speak about the saga of the poorly maintained Umbagong District Park bridges, which were closed in early 2021 for repair. After almost a year, the community is frustrated that a time line for the bridges’ replacement is still not set in stone. I asked the minister earlier today if there was a confirmed time line for replacement. Sadly, we do not yet know when the bridges will be replaced. Many constituents have spoken to me about their concerns, and the matter was considered by the Belconnen Community Council in mid-December last year. Unfortunately, this is another example of this government’s poor service delivery, even basic council level services for specific projects such as this one.

I have written to the minister and asked for the bridges to be repaired by June 2022. I have spoken about this issue many times in this place, and I do sincerely hope it is

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