Page 3827 - Week 11 - Thursday, 24 November 2022
my—as some might observe, almost accidental—election: “If I only get four years in this place, I am going to fix Lake Tuggeranong. I am going to get it sorted. I am going to bark enough and yell enough and complain enough and write enough emails and I am going to get it sorted.” As Ms Lawder rightly pointed out, it has been since 1994 that we have been dealing with this issue in Lake Tuggeranong, so perhaps I need a few terms.
I am really pleased that this debate has reflected well in the Assembly. It has been one of our better debates, albeit that there has been a little bit of political hyperbole. I think for the most part it has been a really considered conversation about something that we all identify as a problem. We all want to get down to the bottom of it and get a solution.
Speaking to Ms Lawder’s amendments and how they relate to my original motion, I do want to, for the record and for anyone listening at home—but do you reckon that is a regular thing, Minister Steel? Do you reckon people are listening at home? I hope they are—and for those following the debate, be very specific about exactly what it is that I am calling on the government to do. I am calling on them to consider and explore options to improve the collection of grass clippings in the mowing program. I have listed some options that they could include: a trial of a dedicated street-sweeping program; more training for our government mowing technicians; or trialling a post-mowing program to collect grass clippings and other organic matters. It might not necessarily be any of those things; it might be all of those things. I genuinely remain quite open-minded.
Point (b) here is really important, where I have asked the government to consult openly on the urban open space management plan through YourSay and, most importantly, publish that plan upon completion. I will be encouraging my constituents, as I trust Mr Parton and Ms Lawder will, to participate really earnestly in that consultation process and make sure that the perspectives of our constituents are really taken on board during that. Publishing the results afterwards, as a rule, really honours the time and effort that constituents have made to engage in those consultation processes, so I think that is really important.
But point (c) is the one that I really want to underline, where I have asked the government to report back to the Assembly by the last sitting day in September 2023. I want to put on the record now that if none of the aforementioned happens between now and September 2023, Ms Lawder and I might have an awful lot to agree on in that time. But right now I would like to remain open-minded and I would like to remain optimistic about the result of this motion.
I mean that I hope the government will go away and, quite deliberatively, firstly, acknowledge that there is a problem and, secondly, sit down over tea and bikkies and reflect really earnestly about some of the different things that we can do to make it better. I hope that they take on board the feedback from our constituents who participate in the urban open space management plan consultation, and then report back on the accumulation of that work by September 2023. I think that is a very orderly and considered way to do business.