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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2893 ..


walking further, according to the new network, to a bus stop and walking further home again—and longer to get to your destination. It will no longer be a rapid network; it will be a frequent network, perhaps, but certainly not rapid. I have had many, many contacts from constituents saying that they will have to take a car because they just do not have the time to spend on these buses. And they have concerns about their children using public buses instead of school buses.

Another thing I would like to speak briefly about is the smell in some areas of Tuggeranong from time to time. This is certainly an area that has improved over time but it has not been eradicated. It still occurs. (Second speaking period taken.) On one occasion recently, a constituent of mine rang Access Canberra, as instructed by the government. The minister likes these complaints to go through Access Canberra. I pass that on to my constituents. In this particular case someone reported the odour in the morning to Access Canberra. Two weeks later they heard back from Access Canberra. Two weeks later they got an email back from Access Canberra, “We have just got your complaint and there is nothing we can do now because it was two weeks ago,” which makes perfect sense to them. They are not going to go out two weeks later and see if the odour is still there.

Again, how does this help constituents dealing with an issue, whether it is a dog attack, whether it is the smell from the tip, whether it is any other of the myriad of local complaints people have, when they feel they are doing the right thing, they are ringing and reporting the issue and somehow it is lost in the never-never? Is it a system issue? Is it a resourcing issue? Perhaps it is just a lack of interest. I am really not sure.

On playgrounds, playgrounds are another thing that I increasingly hear about from constituents. Partly this is because in my electorate in particular it is an area that has been around for quite some time and people are looking for renewal of the playgrounds in their area. There are some new families moving into those suburbs but also there are grandparents who have caring responsibility for their grandchildren and like to go out to local playgrounds.

The government has committed to citizen forums to make decisions on priorities for urban services, including a lot of money allocated towards playgrounds. I am not sure how a necessarily small citizens group is going to be able to better balance competing needs across our suburbs and over time than people whose full-time job it is to look at these issues. How much real flexibility will the citizen forums really have? Or are the government just walking away from their responsibilities? Last year, it appears, only five playgrounds were upgraded. At that rate it will be decades, on current budgets, before all playgrounds are upgraded and in the meantime a generation of children may miss out altogether in some suburbs.

There is an adopt-a-park initiative, which will obviously require some coordinator funding and it could lead to issues with standards, safety and different community expectations. Some areas will have more people available and willing to assist in the adopt-a-park initiative. In principle I think it is a good initiative, but I would not want some areas to miss out because those working families do not have the time and the energy to devote to the adopt-a-park initiative. I hope there will not be a patchy approach across suburbs.


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