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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 1016 ..


Another area covered in age-friendly cities is walkways, pathways, footpaths and shared paths. Older Canberrans talk about this all the time. We all know that it applies not just to older Canberrans but to mothers with prams and people with mobility issues—the importance of well-maintained footpaths. When they suffer a fall, older people are, of course, far more likely to experience serious damage and it takes them longer to recover. That happens because, in some cases, the footpaths they were using were not properly maintained. This is the nation’s capital. We should all be absolutely proud of our capital, so why do we see this disrepair in our local suburbs?

In one example, someone reported to me a resident of Goodwin Monash who had fallen over a footpath in Monash just around a corner from their own home. I reported this on their behalf and not long after a footpath nearby was fixed. The footpath that was fixed was in worse shape than the one the woman fell on and broke her arm. I went back to the directorate to point out that they had, in this case, fixed the wrong footpath. (Extension of time granted.) The footpath where that woman fell and broke her arm, just around the corner from Goodwin Monash, is still not fixed to this day. As usual, seniors pay the price for this government’s neglect and incompetence. Another budget, another disappointment for seniors, who are getting used to being neglected and ignored and sidelined by this government.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (5.58): I am pleased to speak today on the budget line items for multicultural affairs. It seems to be a running theme of this debate, but I am a bit disappointed. As we debated this budget area, I was surprised that the Minister for Multicultural Affairs did not know a great deal about the biggest commitment of this government to the multicultural community during the election campaign last year. During the estimates questioning of the minister, my colleague Mr Cain raised the election commitment of building a facility to house large events for the multicultural community. He had barely begun his question when the minister cut him off and said:

Mr Cain, this is a matter for Major Projects Canberra.

He had said:

Minister, my question relates to the commitment to spend $21 million on a new 10,000 square metre venue at EPIC.

We did not even get to hear the question before the minister was already trying to bat it off. She said:

Depending on your question, it may be better to direct your question there.

The chair stepped in and suggested that we hear the question before assuming that the minister could not answer it. But the minister was right: she could not answer it. The question was about what facilities would be in this place, what it would be able to do, how it would operate, and when it would be built. It was not the most complex question. Some might say it was practically a Dorothy Dixer. Unbelievably, the minister batted off these basic elements of the scope of the government’s commitment to Major Projects Canberra.


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