Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1139 ..
In comparison, Lake Ginninderra has four toilet blocks, with a $600,000 upgrade planned for the toilets in John Knight Park. The eastern loop around Lake Burley Griffin is nine kilometres long, twice as long as the Yerrabi Pond circuit, yet it has seven toilet blocks available for people walking around the pond. Locals are adamant that Yerrabi Pond be on equal footing with other water bodies in our city.
Yerrabi Pond is a place that the community truly cares about. For the many Gungahlin residents who do not have a backyard—and there are lots of them in Gungahlin town centre—this parkland is the go-to outdoor space for exercise and socialising. As Gungahlin grows, major new apartment complexes are being constructed right near the pond, in the town centre.
It is often hard to keep up with the countless plans and proposals for new apartment towers to be constructed in Gungahlin town centre. These complexes bring thousands of new residents to Gungahlin but fail to provide adequate outdoor living space. As a result, the closest outdoor green space for these residents is the local pond, but sadly the pond, in its current state, cannot accommodate such high population growth.
I have heard stories from many constituents who remember when the water was so clean they could fish in Yerrabi Pond. These days the water is brown, smelly and there is rubbish in it and pollution. We have heard recently of the new floating wetland in Lake Tuggeranong that cleans up water quality and prevents blooms. It does this by sucking up nutrients in the lake. I would like to see initiatives like this implemented in Yerrabi Pond so that Yerrabi Pond can see improved water quality.
I have talked to countless individuals who absolutely love Yerrabi Pond, but they are disappointed with the lack of upgrades to basic amenities. This lack of amenity makes it near impossible for the elderly and people with disabilities to enjoy the pond to the same standard as an able-bodied person. We should be providing adequate amenity so that everybody can enjoy this wonderful local resource equally.
Circling back to something I mentioned earlier, and really a little bit about my youth, when I was a youngster I used to skateboard. It surprises no-one. Local skate parks provide a safe space for young people to catch up, give them something to do with their time and let them enjoy their scooters, skateboards and bikes in an environment that is conducive to having fun. It is important that we maintain these skate parks to a good standard so that young people have a spot to enjoy their hobbies close to where they live.
Unfortunately, the Yerrabi Pond skate park is in desperate need of some TLC. The famous website Skatermaps.com rates Gungahlin skate park a measly three out of five stars, describes it as “starting to show its age” and recommends that skaters are better off going elsewhere. It does not even slightly compare with the nearby skate parks, particularly the one in Belconnen—for the record, given five out of five stars—which is better designed, larger, better maintained and definitely has some gnarlier features. I would love to see Yerrabi Pond skate park become a local icon and attractive to skaters who live all over Canberra, not just locals who cannot make it over to Belconnen. This can be done with some upgrades and a facelift. I do not think that it