Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3450 ..
Clearly, my constituents are crying out for initiatives to allow our local shops to create a real sense of community. A few of the shops in my electorate have communal seats, tables and play areas, creating an inviting environment which gives stay-at-home parents the opportunity to bring their kids for an informal playgroup; a place where parents can pop in after school to pick up treats for the kids and have a chat with fellow parents; a hub where sports groups, community groups and other interest-based groups can congregate; a sanctuary in the middle of a busy workday where workers can sit down for an hour with lunch before they have to get back to the office.
However, many local shops in my electorate lack these basic communal facilities: seats, perhaps a table, benches, toilets and bubblers. A Campbell resident said to me, “We need a water fountain, more seating and areas for people to congregate and refurbishment of the Campbell shops children’s playground to improve safety.” A Lyneham resident has said, “A water fountain or a sitting bench would be a welcome addition.” This is reference to the North Lyneham shops. The resident also noted that those shops have no public toilets. At the Narrabundah shops, residents call for a modern play area, a good public notice board and some seats in the park opposite.
Madam Speaker, Canberra is community. Of course, it is the local residents that create that community. But every motivated and hardworking group should know that their local government has their back. For too long this government has not had their back. My motion calls on the government to establish and publish a schedule of regular maintenance of local shops and to report on the budget allocations for such maintenance.
If the minister agrees with this statement and tells me that the government already does that, let us see it and let local residence groups know about it. If the minister disagrees with this statement, perhaps she should explain to the people of Canberra how she can call herself the minister for city services and not the minister neglecting city services. 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) (4.01): I am pleased to discuss local shops today. I look forward to responding to a number of the issues that Ms Lee has raised and informing her of some things that already take place and reflect upon those conversations we have in this place where we actually all agree we represent the community, no matter which side of the chamber we sit on. While of course I understand that there will be politics played in that place I would encourage everybody to remember that we are here as representatives of the community and we work hard. There are many things which I hope Ms Lee learns from what I am about to say in response to this motion.
I do agree that we could publish the schedule, but I do not agree that we should establish one because we already have one. I have circulated an amendment to Ms Lee’s original motion and I move that amendment now:
Omit all text after paragraph (1)(b), substitute:
“(c) the ACT Government has a regular maintenance program for local shops, which includes litter picking, cleaning of surfaces, pruning of bushes,