Page 972 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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Mr Cain was in the budget estimates talking about the ILRP. He asked many questions and we supplied the answers for him. I would say to you, Madam Speaker, and to the Assembly that we prepare well in advance on the Indicative Land Release Program to deliver as best we can on that program, because it is indicative, but we are providing more dwellings than we have population growth. It is, of course, a stark difference to when the Liberals were in power and the private sector did the land banking across the ACT. They sat on land for years and years and years and would not release it to the public. We are not doing that.

MR PARTON: Minister, is the government being disingenuous by claiming to help young Canberrans while choking the detached housing supply and killing their dreams of home ownership?

MR GENTLEMAN: No.

Municipal services—play spaces

MR BRADDOCK: My question for the Minister for City Services. The ACT play spaces strategy mentions the development of “a play value index to assess play value, complement safety audit information and better inform investment priorities across the ACT play space network”.

Can you please provide an update in terms of the development of the play value index?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Braddock for his question. It is often said that play is the work of children. We know the importance of play for children’s development, and we want to make sure that we have as much play value as possible in play spaces. As I have mentioned before, currently Transport Canberra and City Services does undertake safety assessments and audits of play spaces, but upgrades should not be based on safety alone. In fact, some risk-taking behaviour may be valuable for children, safely within our play spaces.

We want to make sure that as we go forward, as we make decisions about future upgrades and new play spaces, we do recognise that we can add different features to play spaces that may make them more valuable for children’s development. That is the basis for the development of a play value index, which was outlined in our play spaces strategy. It is a technical tool that is still under development by Transport Canberra and City Services and will be one of many inputs that will be used to determine how play spaces are prioritised for upgrades in the future.

This could include looking at other features to identify play spaces that offer positive experiences for our community, including: surrounding infrastructure that promotes accessibility and more inclusive play, such as sensory elements; shading, either through trees or supporting infrastructure like shade sails; and fencing, public toilets or water fountains. I am looking forward to that being a new feature of decision-making when it comes to future playgrounds in the ACT.

MR BRADDOCK: When will this index become available, and will it be in place for every single playground in the ACT?


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