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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 858 ..

nearby apartments and other community epicentres such as the schools that are directly opposite the proposed play space would continue to foster a strong sense of community for Waramanga residents. Playgrounds and play spaces are absolutely vital to the development of children and to the wellbeing of parents and carers. The proposal incorporates the nature play space principles that have been designed by world-renowned experts in the field whom we spoke about earlier.

The increase in pedestrians that the play space would bring would also be great for small businesses which, as I mentioned, have been suffering for some time from the inability of this government to either keep law and order or listen to the community. The increase in pedestrian numbers in the play space would be good for those businesses. The proposal will also have beneficial impacts on the mental health of mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, carers. That is a huge proportion of the community. This play space would give children the opportunity to run around, exercise, be active, meet each other, mix with other children and make friends. It would also be a chance for parents and carers to decompress, to socialise with like-minded community members and have quality time with their children.

For some time I have been promoting in this place the idea that there is not only one path to the delivery of these types of facilities. There is not only one path; it is also possible that communities could have a system for buying into their own local playgrounds. I understand that that is not always the preference of local communities who are already paying through the nose for their rates, but it is vital that we consider all options in the delivery of playgrounds. If government has a limited bucket of money, there is no reason to limit us only to government money. Government needs to maintain facilities but does not necessarily have to pay for them all up-front.

Mr Hanson’s motion respectfully asks for this to be funded in the budget, but I am sure the community would be able to cope if the minister were able to find a way for the community to seek donations and to get the playground built. It is another example of the government’s tin ear and inflexibility and non-responsiveness and lack of genuine interest that there has never even been a suggestion of how communities could buy in to their local parks.

Mr Steel spoke in his presentation about the needs of Weston Creek; and I agree, there are a number. But this government is hopeless at delivering. Has anybody here actually seen the new park at Trenerry Square? The community put up with fencing all around the main section on the main road of the shopping district for months at a time. There was a high expectation that that square was going to include children’s play equipment but there is none. There is also nothing particular to draw people to that spot. It is actually a failed project.

Ms Cody: It is beautiful.

MRS JONES: It is not beautiful; it is a failed project.

Ms Cody: It is lovely. I spend many an afternoon there meeting up with friends. It’s beautiful. Coffee in the mornings, great.

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