Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2050 ..
budget provides $10 million to support the maintenance of these assets as well as to support the provision of new mobile garbage bins and collection of rubbish in these suburbs.
In the last 15 years there has been a significant increase in the number of lakes and ponds across Canberra. Urban densification has placed some pressure on our waterways and the budget allows for an increase in lake and pond cleaning to our over 110 lakes and ponds in the ACT.
The budget also delivers additional investment in our urban forest, on top of ongoing base investment in our urban forest, with 1,330 trees planted in our urban forest, as well as another initiative under Mr Gentleman’s portfolio which plants an additional 5,000 trees in the Murrumbidgee corridor. Maintaining and improving our playing fields is also a focus of this budget, particularly because Canberra is such an active city.
In addition I do want to highlight the exciting work underway under the better suburbs statement, a community deliberative process that is underway. Four thousand Canberrans have been sent letters of invitation to participate in this very exciting exercise. We look forward to this deliberative forum of 40 community representatives and 25 representatives of community organisations, government and business, to build and develop a better suburbs statement but also to undertake what is probably the first genuine participatory budgeting initiative in the ACT.
Alongside having kitchen table conversations and developing the statement there is $1.9 million in this year’s budget of which I will ask the better suburbs forum to allocate at least $1 million to playgrounds, given there has been considerable interest in upgrading existing playgrounds across the territory, as represented by a number of petitions before the Assembly. I am really looking forward to the citizen forum having an opportunity to involve themselves in this program. And I really welcome their conclusions. I again thank Ms Cheyne for bringing forward this important motion today.
MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (11.07): I am pleased to be speaking to this motion calling for better local services for the people of Canberra. While the government may have thrown additional funding at local services in this budget, this Labor-Greens government, a government that has been in power for 17 years, does not have a very good track record when it comes to providing these essential basic services and providing residents with value for money for the rates dollars that we are all paying.
Rates have tripled in the last 10 years but Canberrans have not seen any increase in the provision of urban services. Whether it is rubbish collection, street sweeping, graffiti management or park maintenance, this Labor-Greens government continues to let down the people of Canberra in the provision of essential, basic services and the maintenance of public infrastructure, as my colleague Ms Lawder has spoken about at length today.
Ms Cheyne’s motion today refers to graffiti management and bus shelter cleaning—and Minister Fitzharris has spoken extensively about public transport—but what I do