Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 August 2014) . . Page.. 2040 ..
Genuine community engagement has clearly not taken place, given the number of signatures on this petition. 4,181 is not an insignificant number. That number far exceeds the population of Yarralumla. The petition makes it clear that the concern for this development is not just from within the suburb of Yarralumla. Mr Barr was making this point quite strongly on television on Monday night. He said that this was a development for all of Canberra—in a rather terse interview, if I recall correctly. Yes, Mr Barr, you are quite right. This is a development that will have an impact on all of Canberra.
Signatories to this petition show that it is not just of concern to Yarralumla. We have people from Charnwood, Weetangera, Fraser, Evatt, Latham, Harrison, Fadden, Campbell, Theodore and Hackett as well as Yarralumla, Deakin, Forrest, Narrabundah and Curtin. And Mr Barr is right. It is not just a Yarralumla issue and Canberrans recognise that.
The impact of this proposed strategy has far wider implications which are all noted from residents of other suburbs. In recent weeks residents in Yarralumla and surrounding suburbs have taken a commendable and appropriate course of action to provide genuine feedback to the ACT government. They have held several public meetings and advertised them widely. They have set up information stands at local shopping centres. They have also attended the one open day that the government conducted at which, I might add, there were no representatives from Roads ACT to answer questions in relation to the significant changes proposed for roads within the Deakin and Yarralumla areas.
Nor, might I say, were there any government MLAs for Molonglo present, namely the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, the Minister for TAMS, Mr Rattenbury, and Mr Corbell. None of them were there to listen to their own constituents’ issues over the reworked plan.
This petition highlights to the government where Canberra residents believe the government has failed to protect those essential elements that are uniquely Canberra. The petition asks the government to consider carefully the ramifications of doubling the size of a Canberra suburb that already has traffic congestion issues, that already has ageing roads and utilities infrastructure. The petition is seeking answers and calling for better, more considered planning from its government. I hope and trust that the government is listening and taking note; 4,181 signatories indicates serious concern.
I commend the petition to the Assembly, and in doing so I wish to acknowledge the hard work done by numerous people in the community including the Yarralumla Residents Association and many members of the community who have assisted the association. We also welcome a lot of these people from the association and the community here this morning.
On a cold early Monday morning, just this Monday morning, over 80 people came with Marea Fatseas and her Yarralumla committee to present the petition to me to pass on to the Assembly. That demonstrates clearly the level of concern this issue has caused to so many people.