Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 13 October 2022) . . Page.. 3037 ..
Of course, there is a lot more to city services than mowing and basic maintenance. There is the exciting stuff that we all love to see and use—new dog parks, playgrounds and local shopping centre upgrades, the delivery of which take years. I can assure you, Mr Assistant Speaker, that the excitement over a new playground can wear off quickly when you trip over a broken footpath on your way to the playground and break your arm, or you get to the playground and you cannot really use it because the grass is so overgrown that you are worried there are snakes in the grass that will bite your children. The playground itself is great, but there is more to it than these shiny, new, bright things that you get to announce.
There are other things that I look forward to watching out for, such as the Molonglo library and community hub, the ACT NoWaste FOGO facility, the new RSPCA facility, and the southern memorial park. Before the last election a great big sign was put up, saying, “We’re going to build the southern memorial park, a cemetery, here.” That sign has gone. I guess it has been put into storage so that it can be trotted out again prior to the next election, because we still will not have a southern memorial park. Not only has the sign gone; when the sign was put up, it was put up in the wrong place. It was put up in front of a reserve that is maintained by one of our environmental groups. They can’t even get the placement of the sign correct, let alone give us the southern memorial park, which has been promised for so many years.
Another one is the Athllon Drive duplication, from Sulwood Drive to Drakeford Drive. There was another great big sign put up, of course, for that one, but it has on-road cycling paths, as far as I can work out from the diagrams, which I would not have thought was the preferred solution for those people interested in active travel. We hear a lot about safety and that separate bike lanes are safer for cyclists.
It is my hope that this government will start with the priorities, get the basics right, and focus on delivering value for money for ratepayers in the local maintenance areas.
MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.42): It is no secret to everyone in the Assembly that I love trees. It is pleasing to see a sustained focus on planting trees in our urban footprint, which will see many benefits accrue to our city through increased resilience to climate change, addressing the heat island effect and improving the liveability and amenity of our suburbs.
We need to ensure that we select the right trees in the right locations, with the appropriate follow-up care to ensure that our trees not only survive but thrive. There is a large difference between a tree that grimly survives in a stunted form and one that thrives, providing copious shade, developing habitat for other species and actively improving the air in the surrounding area. We need to select species, should they become loose or seed in other areas, that do not become weeds. Finally, we also need to ensure that we have genetic diversity within a species to improve resistance to disease and reduce the risk of die-off.
It is not all about trees when we talk about what is important for our city; it is also about shrubs, ground cover and permeable surfaces. Through these, we need to improve soil quality, reduce sediment and erosion, create habitats for a wider range of fauna, and reduce the cost of maintenance. Therefore, we need to measure what