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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2102 ..


effective and certainly more efficient if the residents in his street kicked in a fraction of what they pay in rates to get their own streetsweeper.

I cannot imagine that there would be any disagreement from the other side of the chamber that my electorate has a high proportion of deciduous trees and I do not think there can be any doubt that we all love having so many trees in our city. But that privilege comes with a responsibility for the government to ensure that fallen leaves are properly dealt with.

What I am calling on the government to do in this motion is really nothing more than what a good local government should be doing for the benefit of all Canberrans who choose this wonderful bush capital city to live in. I commend my motion to the Assembly.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (3.44): I welcome the opportunity to talk about this issue today and thank Ms Lee for bringing forward the motion. TCCS conducts a comprehensive street sweeping program to remove leaves, sediment and debris from gutters along the road network. Streets in Canberra receive at least two sweeps per year, and during May and August TCCS concentrates on the removal of leaf litter from deciduous street trees in the inner north and south suburbs of Canberra, with five to six sweeps each year in those parts of the city. The program delivers livability, safety and sustainability outcomes for the Canberra community and our environment. The program assists to maintain a safe road and functioning drainage network, protects water quality and provides public amenity.

Since self-government was introduced in 1989 the territory’s population has grown from 270,000 to over 407,000 residents. The growing street network has placed pressure on the street sweeping program and as a result TCCS recently increased the operations from five street sweeping trucks to six. These operations are supported by six full-time equivalent employees with road workers operating five days per week and covering an 8½ hour shift. TCCS is also increasing capacity by increasing the fleet of sweepers and using local contractors to supplement the current sweeping program. It is also exploring ways to use technology to optimise the street sweeping program to maximise the effect of those resources.

Removing litter from our gutters has multiple benefits, including protection of the environment, avoiding trip hazards and providing preventive maintenance of blockages to our stormwater system. Flooding is a concern across the city, as is the protection of pavements from water, increasing the life of road pavements. TCCS also undertakes street sweeping in city centres, and currently the focus for sweeping is kerbs and gutters in smaller suburban shopping precincts.

TCCS staff also use blowers to remove the debris from footpaths onto the roads so the sweeper can collect the rubbish immediately and so that it does not impact the drainage system. The city centre has a daily program due to the leaf fall and litter around pedestrian areas. City areas include city west, Bunda Street, Garema Place,


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