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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2894 ..


Of course, we already have other citizen-initiated mechanisms to bring forward ideas and suggestions like this; for example, petitions. Recently we have seen petitions and approaches from residents, hundreds if not thousands of residents, about playgrounds in, for example, Greenway, seeking a shade sail, and in Torrens and Waramanga. Yet these initiatives, these requests, are being ignored in favour of going through another process altogether. What does that say to those citizens who have made an effort to get together and put forward a petition in their area?

Canberra does deserve local services that are five-star. We deserve to walk down streets that we are proud of and that we feel safe on, and many of the areas under TCCS, including street lighting, contribute to that pride and that safety that we feel or do not feel. Everyone in Canberra, including children, especially including those who live south of the lake, should have the opportunity to play on equipment of a high standard that is safe and engaging. Some of those parks and playgrounds should have protection from the sun. Some of those parks and playgrounds should have fences. Many of those have already been identified, and the government has been approached.

I think the community deserves more. They deserve laws that better protect them from dangerous dog attacks. They deserve shared paths that are accessible and of good quality. They deserve to leave their homes without odours from the tip impacting on them, their amenity and their enjoyment. They deserve a government that will take them seriously when they complain and respond in a timely manner to those concerns when they complain. They deserve a minister with vision and passion for better local services.

When Mr Barr delivered his budget speech he talked about the fact that what we can do in Canberra is limited only by our imagination and goodwill. Many of my constituents tell me that in Tuggeranong especially there is a lack of imagination and there is absolutely a lack of goodwill to improve the services that we have in Tuggeranong, let alone across the rest of Canberra. It is a pity that this government does not spend more of its attention on getting those basic local services right.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (5.21): The 2018 budget grows the key services our growing city needs. The budget reflects our priorities, including renewing our neighbourhoods and growing our core city services so that our growing city continues to be a great place to live.

Our budget will invest an additional $19.8 million in city services to provide more mowing, more cleaning, more sweeping, more weeding, more tree trimming and more graffiti removal; plant an additional 1,330 trees across Canberra to renew and enhance our urban forest; install irrigation to ensure sportsgrounds in the ACT continue to be maintained to a high standard; and boost local library services.

As a former and current early childhood advocate, I am really pleased this budget delivers funding for playgrounds. I know how important child-friendly cities are for children’s physical health and wellbeing, and our city of Canberra is well-known as a great place to raise children. But as local infrastructure starts to age and more families move into our existing suburbs—no doubt supported by our abolition of stamp duty


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