Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3458 ..
Paragraph (3)(b) calls for an examination of clever ways to stop the gap getting bigger, at what should be a low cost. It asks the government to consider options to get public toilets into new local centres through partnerships with private and community sectors. Shops need toilets for their staff. Some businesses make their toilets available to their own customers, but most of them do not. It may be possible, at a pretty low cost, to design new shopping centres with a set of toilets for everyone rather than each business having their own, with limited availability for the general public—or a number of sets, one of which is available for the general public. This could be a very good outcome with a limited budgetary impact.
In conclusion, I would like to point out another change that Minister Fitzharris’s amendment would make to Ms Lee’s original motion—that is, to put the maintenance schedule information on the government’s website, rather than reporting it to the Assembly. With all due respect to the Assembly, the community, I am afraid, is far more likely to look for city services information on the government’s city services website than in Hansard. That is yet another reason why I will be supporting Minister Fitzharris’s amendment, rather than the original motion.
MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (4.27): I thank Ms Lee for bringing forward this motion today. Maintenance and the amenity, the look and the feel of our local shopping centres are something that most residents find quite important. Our local shopping centres are often located with other amenities around them and they have become a community hub. They may be near schools; they may have playgrounds nearby; they may be near clubs or community gardens. There could be a whole lot of different things in the vicinity.
Whether they are standalone, such as Theodore shops ,for example, which has a small supermarket and not too much else around it, or whether they are one of the big shopping centres or group centres, they are important to members of the community. In the case of Theodore, many people drop by on their way home from work, maybe to get a beer or—I probably should not mention cigarettes—to pop in and pick up some milk.
People do expect maintenance to be kept up to a generally acceptable standard. I would like to say at this point that in many instances I do write to the minister, and I often get a very favourable result. I would like to commend the work that TCCS do. I have passed on my thanks to the minister at various times. When constituents have raised something with me and I then raise it with the minister, and the constituent expresses their appreciation, I pass that on to the minister, and I am sure she passes that on to the directorate. It is noticed and it is appreciated.
That does not mean there is not more that we can do. Members of our community often have suggestions themselves. About a month ago, perhaps in early July, I happened to hear part of the Chief Minister’s talkback on radio. Some business owners from Endeavour House in Manuka were talking about how they wanted to put plants on their nature strip, and they wanted to work with the government to do that. The minister alluded to the fact that it is not only up to the government to do these things; there are community participation elements as well.