Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1141 ..
tireless community service. I revealed your age in the chamber earlier this week, John, so it is there in Hansard for all of Canberra to know. It is important to state that at 89 years of age, there is no stopping or slowing down this warrior.
The whole point of petitions is that they are community led. How great that is to see. Having said that, it is a shame that we in this place, 25 of us elected and paid handsomely to represent our communities, need to rely on warriors like John, along with his wife, Kay, and local activist and Gungahlin Community Council member Darron Marks, who is also here today, to prompt us to do our job.
As I mentioned earlier this week, Darron became a self-described bin militant following years of frustration at not being able to get bins for Yerrabi Pond. This is politics 101, isn’t it, Madam Speaker? It is a poor reflection on the government and this Assembly that our community members need to turn to militancy to get action. I salute John, Kay and Darron, and the more than 1,000 wonderful Yerrabi residents who have signed the petition calling on the government to improve our pond and make it an attractive place that all families and people want to visit.
As a proud Liberal member for Yerrabi, I also want to put on record my campaigning efforts to get the government to fix our pond, which in some places is an eyesore. Last month I wrote to Minister Chris Steel and asked him when his Labor-Greens government would prioritise improving Yerrabi Pond by installing more lighting, bins, taps, playgrounds, and barbecues. I have yet to receive a response, but I am heartened by this community petition and I eagerly await the government’s response.
The Canberra Liberals suggest that the minister set up a task force—much as I loathe the word—or a group that comprises the key leaders of the Friends of Yerrabi Pond, so that we can get to work. We need not much talk, but action. On behalf of the Canberra Liberals, may I invite myself to the table and ask to be a member of that group, alongside my Labor colleague Mr Pettersson?
I have said before, and will keep saying through my entire term, that I want to highlight the fact that Yerrabi is the only Canberra electorate that does not have a minister representing the area. That was Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s decision. It is no surprise, therefore, that so many parts of my electorate are ignored and neglected by this government. Meanwhile, Mr Barr has looked after his own electorate of Kurrajong, with not one, two or three ministers, but four.
On their flyers urging residents to sign the petition, the Friends of Yerrabi Pond have stated, “We are the only group active and able to achieve action to bring the pond and surrounding facilities and parklands to a better state for everyone.” I turn to our local warriors in Yerrabi, here in this chamber today, to give you my promise that I am totally on board. I would be delighted to be an honorary member, if that is the term, of your Friends of Yerrabi Pond. I will be active; just you watch me. I will back you all the way to ensure that this government recognises your hard work and fixes up the pond to a standard that all Canberrans deserve.
I acknowledge the amendment Mr Braddock will be moving and I support this proposed change to the motion.