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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 18 September 2018) . . Page.. 3646 ..


Another thing to note is that all through the statement it has been talking about what the community has said. It has said, “We would like to be involved not just in making decisions, important as that is, but we are also prepared to have long-term involvement in the maintenance of our cities. We are prepared to look after the water assets that hopefully will be built as a result of this. We are happy to do things about graffiti. We are happy to do things about park maintenance. We are happy to be part of a community cooperating with our government to keep our community in better shape.”

It is very interesting that number one was lakes, ponds, wetlands and stormwater assets. These are things that the Greens have been fighting for since Kerrie Tucker. Wetlands have a really important role in dealing with peak flows and water quality before and after storms, which is incredibly important for us as the biggest city in the Murray-Darling Basin.

In terms of the Assembly’s attention to petitions and motions, while I am not saying that this is something that has been totally neglected, it certainly has been compared to other items in the city services budget. It has not been number one. I think it is a very important message to all of us here that this is what the people of Canberra think is really important. We should be putting more energy into this.

Street and park trees were number two. Perhaps I am talking more for myself again, but I think the Assembly has got this more right. We did manage to pass a motion that I moved in the Assembly last year that basically said we need more trees. So we were on target there.

Their third priority was household waste and recycling. It is purely coincidence that the MPI today will be about single-use plastics. But I think it is really good to have a reality check from the people of Canberra that they also are concerned about waste and recycling and what we do about plastics.

I was very pleased to hear the positive words of the minister about the trial of participatory budgeting and how this will be the first important step in this area. I think this is an area where we need to get it right, and hopefully we will get it right. Soon we will see it in action and then participatory budgeting may move out of this limited area. We need to look at it more from a whole-of-government point of view. What actually is it that the people of Canberra want to spend most of their money on? We have a process once every four years, which is incredibly important. But I think we can have some more nuanced conversations.

I repeat my thanks to the people who put in five days of face-to-face time, and I know a lot more time than that in terms of their homework, to make a better Canberra for all of us.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.37): I would like to thank Minister Steel for the report on the participatory budgeting exercise for the better suburbs project and to acknowledge the role that Minister Fitzharris previously took when it was in her portfolio. I would have to agree—I think we all do—about the importance of things


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