Page 3226 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 18 October 2022
Back in 2019 I spoke about footpaths with respect to the Age-Friendly City Plan. In 2019 I said that, at the current rate, it will be 2073 before all current suburbs are funded for footpath replacements. Of course, by that time, the ones that were first done will be in a dire state. That is why my motion originally called on the government to speed up the Age-Friendly City Program, because it is not going fast enough to keep our footpaths in good repair for anyone in our community, let alone our older Canberrans, who may have mobility issues.
I found this last year, when I was on crutches for a while. The state of our footpaths made it really difficult to get around in some places. Good footpaths, of course, help not just our older Canberrans but every walker—everyone who walks their dog around the block—if you are lucky enough to have a footpath, that is—people with mobility aids; people with disability; mothers, fathers or carers with prams and strollers. It is not only our older Canberrans who will benefit, but they are the purpose of my motion today.
I appreciate that Mr Steel, I think, said that MyWay data alone will not give us the full picture of the usage. I am not sure exactly why that is the case, although I will be pleased to see the results of the household travel survey. We should already have a lot of this information from MyWay cards, and that is why I am moving an amendment to Ms Davidson’s proposed amendment. I move the following amendment circulated in my name to Ms Davidson’s proposed amendment:
Omit paragraph (2)(d), substitute:
“(d) start collecting senior citizen’s usage data via MyWay cards as stipulated in the Age-Friendly City Plan to better understand travel habits and needs.”.
My amendment seeks to replace Ms Davidson’s paragraph (2)(d) with the amendment circulated in my name, which refers to the fact that, according to the Age-Friendly City Plan, we should be collecting this usage data on MyWay cards. It is already stipulated in the Age-Friendly City Plan, so why are we not using it? We should be able to get the information from the MyWay card saying, for example, “Mrs Smith used her card on Thursday to go to Belconnen,” because you tap on and tap off with the card. I do not understand why we are not already doing it. It is part of the MyWay system, I would have thought, and it is certainly stipulated in the Age-Friendly City Plan, so why are we not doing it now?
I am also pleased to have brought to the attention of the Assembly and the minister the need for better dementia-friendly design and awareness here in the ACT. I am pleased to see that the ramp at CMAG, an issue that I have raised, has been fixed, and that there has been some training delivered to frontline staff, including at Access Canberra.
I would like to thank Mr Steel for his very considered and useful contribution today. He and I do not always see eye to eye, so it is nice to have a civil conversation about this important topic. I am also very pleased to see tripartisan support for writing to the federal government about a UN convention on the rights of older persons. As I said earlier, the rights of older persons should not have a use-by date, and we must respect our older Canberrans, who have contributed so much to our city and continue to contribute so much.