Page 2989 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022
hole, fill the hole!” The play was about a pothole. It was about a pothole at her bus stop. All she said in answer to every question and every comment was, “Fill the hole.”
This is something that we could say to the minister over and over again. It is a simple message. I would like to thank Ms Clay for her comments about potholes because potholes affect not just cars and trucks—vehicles on the road—but motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians—our vulnerable road users. I was a little surprised that Ms Clay did not refer to that a bit more, because potholes make it is very unsafe for cyclists, especially in those areas where there are no separate bike paths and cyclists ride on the shoulder of the road. That is often where those potholes occur.
I was also surprised that no Labor MLAs spoke about potholes. I am surprised that not a single person has complained to a Labor MLA about potholes! That is kind of unbelievable, isn’t it? Perhaps all the complaints come to the Liberal MLAs. It is very strange! I remind members that representing your constituents is a basic responsibility of being an MLA; that is what you are elected to do. If people come to you about potholes, it is your responsibility to represent them.
Moving on from that, I would like to refer to a few points in Mr Steel’s amendment. In his amendment he mentioned two years of rainfall as a result of La Niña weather events, et cetera. Let us not forget that two years ago Mr Steel promised $4 million to fill in every pothole. That was before these two years of La Niña. Obviously, potholes were already a big issue in the ACT. It was a great opportunity to make a big election commitment, rather than looking at this over the course of the previous term and fixing the roads in a better way.
Mr Steel’s amendment talks about the damage caused by rain, and the fact that the ACT road network is not unique. No, it is not. La Niña is happening. There is rain everywhere and we have potholes everywhere. Does that make you feel any better? Does it make you feel any better, when you blow out your tyre and damage your rim, to hear, “Oh, it’s okay; it’s happening everywhere.” Really? I do not pay my rates in New South Wales or Western Australia; I pay my rates here, and I expect my rates to be put to good use for me, my constituents, my family and every ACT resident. Whether they are motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians, people deserve better service from this government.
It is gobsmacking, in a way, that we are having this discussion. We are told that Roads ACT is working with established experts, including the Australian Road Research Board. Really? At last! How long have the government been in for? How long have potholes been a problem? At last they are perhaps getting a bit of advice, according to Mr Steel’s amendment. That is nice to know!
I would like to remind you that it can be very difficult, if not impossible, to report a pothole while you are driving. While you are driving you cannot go to Fix My Street and report a pothole. If you damage your tyre and your rim—your wheel—you are likely to be more concerned about that when you get home than reporting it on Fix My Street.
Some people have had trouble with Fix My Street. And sometimes you get home, and you get on with your life. You forget about reporting it. It is not the answer for