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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 31 July 2019) . . Page.. 2507 ..


MR STEEL: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. I am very pleased to advise that the first round of many of the upgrades and refreshes to playgrounds has been completed, with 16 refreshes funded last year. Residents across the 20 suburbs to receive refresh works on existing playgrounds thereafter are likely to see works commencing in the coming months.

I had the pleasure of turning the first sod on the site of the new Eddison Park nature play space. We expect work on the nature play spaces to progress very quickly and I expect that the community will be able to enjoy these new play spaces before the end of the year.

For the five suburbs identified as part of the whole-of-suburb play space reviews, consultation with the communities has gone very well. I know that both parents and children have had their say over where new or upgraded playgrounds should be, what the priorities should be and what features should be included in those upgrades.

It is important to get these designs right and to take into account the context of the suburb and the age group of children who are likely to use the playgrounds. At present designs are being finalised and I look forward to these designs being released to the public and for construction to begin shortly after. Of course, I am sure that these new playgrounds will be easy to install. After all, it is child’s play.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Youth—substance abuse

Debate resumed.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (2.54): The Greens are pleased to see this motion brought before the Assembly today as it provides us all with an opportunity to consider the substance of a very complex and, I think, multifaceted issue. The issue of mandatory or compulsory medical treatment and enforced psychological intervention should not be taken lightly. Many of us, either through our personal or professional roles, have certainly heard stories of extremely vulnerable children and young people falling through the gaps in our generally comprehensive support systems and perhaps also the heart-wrenching stories of pain and anguish of a parent or family carer who feels utterly helpless in those situations.

It is therefore completely understandable to hear of the genuine and sincere desire of the Victorian magistrate named in Mrs Kikkert’s motion today to do more to help, and also of her personal and professional frustration at times not to be able to intervene in a young person’s life at a time when they may be at serious risk to themselves or others. I am advised that Magistrate Bowles’s 2014 Churchill Fellowship canvassed many options and included visits to New Zealand, Scotland, England and Sweden. However, importantly for this debate, I also understand that her initial report at least had a much broader remit than just drug and alcohol use.


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