Page 2133 - Week 07 - Thursday, 29 June 2023

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processes that come from a range of different enterprise agreements, and views in directorates about how those enterprise agreements should be translated into ICT systems. Being able to bring them together into one system is complex, and it is one of the reasons this program has faced issues, particularly when we were also faced with the complications that came with the pandemic and the ability to engage staff in working through that complexity at a time when their priorities were elsewhere.

Budget 2023-2024—municipal services

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how does the 2023-24 ACT budget deliver more mowing, tree maintenance and better city services?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his question, and I am very pleased to inform the Assembly that we are making significant investments as part of the budget handed down this week in better city services for all Canberrans. That includes supporting our mowing teams to get to areas in need of extra attention between regular mowing rounds, by continuing the rapid response mowing team that has been keeping our city looking good. This team proved very successful in the last year, and we are pleased that they will continue to support mowing and maintenance in the year ahead. In the winter period, this includes quite a lot of weeding work and that extra detailed work as well, when the grass is not growing quite as quickly.

We are also making investments to ensure that our mowers are better protected when at work, so they can spend more time focused on mowing, especially when mowing on the side of major arterial roads. The budget makes significant investments to support more tree inspections and more tree maintenance, as well as removing end-of-life trees and planting new ones.

As I informed the Assembly this week, we continue to make investments in street lighting, improved footpath maintenance and improving public spaces. This includes improvements to the stormwater system as well, including at the Kippax Group Centre, to strengthen flood resilience in a changing climate.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what does this new funding do to support Canberra’s urban forest?

MR STEEL: As members are well aware, the Urban Forest Bill 2022 was passed by the Legislative Assembly on 30 March and will come into effect on 1 January. The legislation will ensure that our city and trees are protected as Canberra continues to grow, so they can be enjoyed by generations to come. It creates a sound framework to reach our ambitious target of 30 per cent canopy cover or equivalent by 2045. The legislation covers more trees, with the reduction in the height of a protected tree from 12 metres down to eight metres, which has, effectively, doubled the number of trees that are currently protected.

The ACT government will invest accordingly, with over $24 million to protect Canberra’s trees by supporting more tree planting, deep watering across our city and more tree maintenance. The budget initiative provides funding for additional staff to support the implementation of the act. They will support the assessment of more tree


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