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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1473 ..

Certainly, they have been living at the Ainslie shops for many a year with a dilapidated centre. In particular, the issue that has been raised with me by many of the shopkeepers and many of the people that frequent the Ainslie shops is the state of the car park, particularly to the rear of the shops. That is where many of the people who work there park, and you almost need a four-wheel drive to park there. If you have been there you will know what I am talking about. The problem that business owners complain about at the front of the shops is a lack of car parking. It really does affect shop owners plying their trade and attracting people to come to their businesses.

A similar situation exists at Campbell shops, and if you go and visit the shop owners there they will complain to you and explain to you that there is a real problem there with the facility: the upkeep of the shops, the lack of public toilets—I know that is an issue that has been raised with government with no response; lack of parking; and lack of lighting, which has led to people allegedly conducting drug deals around the shopping centre and unfortunately a ram-raid that occurred at those shops lately. There are some great shops at Campbell, places like Hello Cafe and some great restaurants that many of us have been to. Some of the small business men are really doing it tough, and the problems are making their jobs just a bit harder.

Other shopping centres I have been to include Mawson. If any of you saw the front page of the Chronicle today, you would know that Bob Smith, who is one of the community-minded shopkeepers, and others are very concerned about the state of the Mawson shops: the graffiti that covers the place, including the park-and-ride facility that was discussed today in one of the other debates; the drug deals that are going on around the place; the lack of maintenance, including the state of the grass in all the areas; and the rubbish that just covers the place. Problems that were raised with me at O’Connor include problems with long-term parking, the potholes, the cleanliness of the area and so on.

I just make the point that this is a real issue for many of the shopkeepers, small business men and women who are doing it very tough in today’s economic environment. They are finding that the state of parking in the town around the local shopping centres and the rundown nature of public amenities mean that it is increasingly difficult to attract people to their shopping centres, because if you know you are not going to get a park, if you know it is going to be poorly lit, if you know it is looking a disgrace and it is a threatening area because there is graffiti everywhere, you will choose to shop elsewhere, and that is what is happening. I commend Mr Seselja for the earlier motion that was brought on, and I ask that the Stanhope government look into this issue with greater zeal than they have to date.

Canberra After Suicide Support

Canberra Convention Bureau

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (9.15): Mr Speaker, I want to mention a couple of organisations. Firstly, yesterday evening I had the opportunity to attend a function where Canberra After Suicide Support and the Mental Health Foundation of the ACT hosted the unveiling of a memorial seat at Weston park, Yarralumla, in memory of those who have lost their lives to suicide. It is a beautiful spot near the lake, and the seat is intended to be a special place for reflection, meeting,

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