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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 March 2010) . . Page.. 1209 ..

going to encourage people to move into such dwellings then we also have to actually provide adequate services and adequate infrastructure. That infrastructure, I believe, does include recreational facilities, and recreational facilities such as grass in Green Square is a classic example of such infrastructure that we should be investing in.

Recommendation 11 is:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government consider the recreation needs of multi-unit dwellers when deciding what landscaping to maintain or improve.

This is very much along the lines of recommendation 10 and my earlier comments, but I do think—and I will reiterate it—that it is vital we do actually maintain our infrastructure to keep pace with the growth of the areas.

Finally, recommendation 12—this is the last recommendation I will address in my response—is:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government clearly articulate its policy on watering public spaces, including grassed areas.

This, to me, seemed very simple and I am surprised that they do not have this sort of policy in place at the moment instead of a policy that is not clearly articulated. I think, if they did have a policy which did actually discuss which grass and which areas will be watered and maintained, there would not be this ambiguity that currently exists about Green Square and other places. It does seem a bit odd to me that you might have a bit of grass in the Assembly, you might have acres and acres of football ovals that are watered but you do not have maybe 50 square metres in Green Square because they have to be water efficient. We should be water efficient but I do not think that 50 square metres in Green Square is going to be the thing that makes us efficient or inefficient. Yet, there would be considerable benefit for the many hundreds if not thousands of people that frequent that area on a weekly basis.

In conclusion, I think this is a good report. I do urge the ACT government to take these recommendations on board and in future make annual reports much more visionary, much more forward looking, so that we can actually look to these reports to get an idea of where the ACT government is going with regard to the relevant departments.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.40): I have not had an opportunity to read the report; I have simply had the benefit of listening to the presentations and speeches that have been made. I wish to respond not so much to the report but to some of the commentary that has been made. Much of that commentary, particularly that which is negative and critical of the department, is quite basely political in nature. It is certainly inconsistent, it is certainly very specific and subjective—not at all objective—and it does not deal with some of the issues that have been raised in the discussion.

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