Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1463 ..

Moving on to the substance of the motion, while I do not agree with some of the words, I do agree with many of the things that Mr Seselja talked about. He talked about the look of the city. Canberra is an attractive city. It is well known for looking spacious, clean and well organised. People have different opinions, of course, as to what constitutes the right look for our city. Some people appreciate neatness and think that is attractive. Some people think that neatness equals sterility and would prefer to see the city looking a bit more wild.

It is a significant challenge for government to maintain the look of Canberra to everyone’s standard all the time. Graffiti, for example, takes time to clean up. Weeds take time to be cut and to die. With over 600,000 street trees in Canberra, there are a lot of leaf, branch and other maintenance issues that pose a constant challenge. TAMS has to manage all of this with very limited resources. One of the realities of life for the ACT government is that there will always be unmet demand for the sorts of things that TAMS does. We could all give lists of footpaths which we would like fixed and the potholes which we would like filled in. I do not think that it is simply a matter, as the opposition has said, of TAMS managing its budget better and then everything will be okay. I wish that was all that was necessary. We have a very large city, a dispersed city. Part of that is due to the planning decisions which were made in previous eras when the car was king and we had the Y plan. We cannot easily undo those decisions. We have an expensive city to maintain and I believe it will take more than being more efficient to maintain it.

Getting back to the focus on local shops, the Greens think that local shops are important. They are the heart of communities; they are the hub of the communities. We think that protecting them in these times is very important. I am conscious of the time that we have left to finish these two speeches and vote on this.

The amendment that will be moved talks about improving facilities for sustainable and active transport. That is certainly something which the Greens would like to see. This afternoon Mr Coe said that the situation was such that he could bicycle to work twice as quickly as he could drive. As I understand it, he does not bicycle to work. For people like Mr Coe, we need to improve the facilities for active transport. Given that it is not a timing issue, there have got to be ways of improving our transport. One of them is by having bus stops at local shops with bike parking hoops.

We also talk about working on a trial to implement 40-kilometre speed zones to improve safety for vulnerable road users such as walkers and people riding bikes at shopping centres. This is important to improve the safety and amenity of our local shopping centres. If people feel safe at the centres they are more likely to use them.

Another thing which we would like to see a lot more work on is billposting. This is something which the planning committee has worked on. There is a bill yet to be presented in the Assembly on billposting. One of the recommendations from the planning committee was that shopping centres in general—and here we talk about local centres—should all have adequate billposting facilities. I am glad to see that that is something that will now be part of this motion.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video