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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1142 ..

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.23): I move:

Insert new clause (3)(d):

“(d) consider rating Yerrabi Pond for secondary contact recreation activities.”

I would like to thank Mr Pettersson for bringing forward this motion and the petition presented to the Assembly earlier this week.

Yerrabi Pond is much more than a stormwater retention pond. Yerrabi Pond lies at the heart of the Gungahlin district in both a geographic and recreational sense. It provides a focal point for a wide range of recreational activities, such as parkrun—I cannot match the speed at which Mr Pettersson can go around the lake—barbecues, cycling, children’s birthdays, playgrounds, picnics, walking dogs and fishing. My kids have loved using sticks to fish aquatic plants out of the pond.

The Greens took a substantial package to the election to revitalise Yerrabi Pond as a community asset. This included an investment in lighting, to improve safety for people using Yerrabi Pond to exercise, connect and play at all hours instead of just during the daylight hours; investment in public realm infrastructure, including toilets, park benches, playground facilities, and signage; and the enhancement of economic activity through more eating options around the pond.

The $300,000 that was announced in this budget is welcome but can only represent the start. As the population of Gungahlin dramatically expands, the demand for quality green space becomes unstoppable. Quality green spaces are essential for community health, both physical and mental, particularly for those in apartments. One thing that Gungahlin town centre has in spades is apartments. Therefore, the Greens see this investment as an initial down payment that only goes so far in matching community expectations.

I look no further than the prioritised list of actions provided by the Friends of Yerrabi Pond, which Mr Pettersson kindly read out for me earlier. If we, as a government, can achieve against this list, the residents of Gungahlin will be truly thankful and have a pond to be proud of.

An additional point that I would like to make is that we need to look at the active travel links between Gungahlin town centre and Yerrabi Pond so that, instead of having to take their lives in their hands when crossing Gundaroo Road, people and families can walk or bike safely towards the pond.

I, like others, applaud John and Kay Beagle. I also mention Darron Marks, who is in the gallery as well, and all others who have established the Friends of Yerrabi Pond. This has given the community a focal point to which to direct its efforts to advocate for, volunteer and work with government to improve this wonderful community asset. It provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to help share the responsibility for this valued space. Through an increased sense of community ownership of Yerrabi Pond comes community connection, pride and responsibility, all values which will improve the amenity of Yerrabi Pond and its surrounding community. I will now talk on the amendment that I have circulated.

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