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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2044 ..


Canberra which will help make us healthy because it provides us the spaces to walk in, to go out—outdoor recreation—and enjoy the bush capital which we are so lucky to live in.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.42): I thank Ms Cheyne for bringing this motion on today. Unfortunately, unlike Ms Cheyne, I am not convinced the government is delivering on that core commitment to deliver great basic local services, or even adequate services, for our city.

It was interesting, and a little disappointing, to note that much of Ms Cheyne’s motion seems to come directly from a cut-and-paste of Ms Fitzharris’s media release of 23 May, which was headed “More essential services for Canberra’s growing suburbs”. It seems as though it is a case where if you keep telling yourself that something is great, you must believe that it is true. If you move away from here on London Circuit, or indeed from Ainslie Place, you might see that things are actually quite different.

The appearance, the amenity and the safety of our city were something that once all Canberrans were very proud of and that visitors to our city remarked upon. It was once a city where, whether you lived north of the lake or south of the lake, whether you lived in what was nappy valley—at various times that could have been Woden, Tuggeranong or potentially Gungahlin—whether you were in the inner city or the outer suburbs, everyone was proud of their local parks, playgrounds, shops, bike paths, libraries, parks and lakes.

I am very proud of Canberra. I am proud to live here. I made a decision to live here after living in all other states and territories of Australia and overseas. But in the 30 years that I have been here, I have seen that gradual deterioration of the general suburban amenity. So do people who visit here from interstate.

Canberra was a city where you used to know that the barbecues would work when you went down to your local park or to the lake; where the toilets were always open and always clean; where the trees were pruned; where the footpaths, verges and parks were mown; where the streetlights worked; and where dogs were kept under control. When things needed repair, they were fixed quickly and without fuss. Playgrounds were maintained and upgraded when necessary. Graffiti was removed. Streetlights were on all the time at night. Streets were swept and repaired. We do not have that attractive appearance any longer: the rich amenity and urban safety that Canberrans were once so proud of.

Over the years, Madam Speaker, you can see, from analysing and looking at the annual reports, that this government has gradually starved our local services of resources. This is despite huge increases in our rates and despite population growth, more and more suburbs, and more and more ratepayers. This has resulted in a litany of broken footpaths, gaping potholes, unmown parklands, broken streetlights and more roaming dogs.

Many Canberrans feel less safe. Dog attacks are still not being investigated appropriately, even though there was the terrible case of a Canberra woman killed by a dog last year. More attacks are being reported all the time and going


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