Page 1438 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Despite repeated requests for pedestrian priority measures to be taken at this intersection, this Labor-Greens government has repeatedly ignored the plight of this community and those affected by the traffic conditions and the dangers that this intersection presents. Many parents have been forced to drive their children to school rather than let them negotiate this intersection on foot, which is described by Timothy as “a death trap”. Older residents who use mobility aids or those who require wheelchair access or those who just want to walk the streets are also concerned for their safety over the impact of speeding cars and increased traffic.

It is also of note that there are a couple of aged-care homes within the vicinity, and some residents tell me that they are traumatised by regularly witnessing vehicle accidents and near misses almost on a daily basis. You only have to look at the coverage by CityNews, the Riotact, Canberra Weekly and the Canberra Times, as well as the discussions in the local residents’ newsletters and Facebook groups, over the past few years to fathom the extent of concerns over this particular intersection. Just last week I was sent yet another series of photos of a vehicle accident at this site.

Since my time as local member for this area, I have repeatedly brought this to the attention of this Labor-Greens government. My most recent letter to Minister Steel, which was in February this year—the latest of several about this intersection—did not even warrant a response. Local groups, including the Griffith Narrabundah Community Association, Red Hill Primary School P&C, Safe Streets to School Canberra, and many, many local constituents that I have met with, have all expressed their dismay at Labor’s and the Greens’ lack of action, especially when it comes to the safety of vulnerable road users. That is, of course, a stark contrast to what Ms Clay has just spoken about. This government’s own Active Streets for Schools program encourages schoolchildren to get active on the commute to and from school by riding, walking or scootering. Yet this intersection’s current hazards would seem to be starkly in contrast to that initiative.

Whilst I wholeheartedly support this petition—after all, I am the only local member that has been raising this for years and years—it is galling that Minister Vassarotti is sponsoring this. She is a minister in this government, as well as the local member—literally in the cabinet that makes the decisions, that allocates the funding, that supposedly gets things done. It is a sad, sad, indictment and it is absolutely and abundantly clear that Minister Vassarotti has no influence whatsoever on getting things done in her own electorate.

The latest from Minister Steel is that there will be more studies done and they will be public. The residents are sick of more studies. They want action and they need it now. They are, rightly, concerned that if this intersection is not fixed soon the safety of vulnerable road users, and in particular school students that go to the primary school nearby, is going to continue to be at risk. The issue has dragged on for years, and the subsequent inaction by this Labor-Greens government is unacceptable. It is absolutely clear that every member of the Labor-Greens government knows how to talk the talk, but when it comes to action, they go starkly missing.

If Minister Vassarotti, as a minister in this cabinet, cannot even get basic outcomes on municipal services that impact the safety of her constituents, then, really, what is she

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video