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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1144 ..


community hub where groups come together and bond. It is a venue for physical activity, parkrun, fishing, casual strolls around the pond and use of the gym equipment. Boot camps are even held on the grass. For many in the area, it is an extension of their backyard. For many apartment dwellers, it is their actual backyard.

I support this motion because I support our local community. I especially admire the work done to date by the Friends of Yerrabi Pond. I also support Mr Braddock’s amendment to the motion, to turn the waterway into a secondary recreation waterway. That is really important. It is being used by a lot of the community already. If we can ensure that water quality is much better, we can encourage more activities on that waterway, encourage more groups to get involved.

That being said, I am sceptical. I will keep a close eye on developments over the coming months. Experience has shown me that promises made by those opposite are quite often broken. Just ask the residents of Casey, who were promised a community recreation park back in 2012. Just ask the sporting groups in the area who have no indoor sporting facilities, not enough ovals, and a busted pool. Just ask the multicultural community, who still have no venue or community hall. Just ask the parents of students who cannot fit into their local schools because they are bursting. Just ask the business sector in the town centre, who have watched parking and commercial space disappear in Gungahlin.

Yerrabi Pond could be a real gem for the people of Gungahlin and their visitors. It could provide an attractive recreation space for a large number of apartment dwellers on the nearby hill and for workers in the sterile Gungahlin town centre—itself, sadly, lacking facilities. We will watch with keen interest in this space.

We are supporting the motion. It is disappointing that it has come to the point where a petition has had to be put together by the community. I say again that they have done an amazing job. I know that they have a lot of support from local residents, particularly residents who live in the suburbs adjoining this waterway.

But why should it stop there? We should be looking at all our waterways. We should be ensuring that our waterways are fit, that they do not have huge mounds of green algae, that they are good for secondary recreation use. We should be extending beyond Yerrabi Pond. The residents of Yerrabi deserve that. They pay huge rates. We should be doing what we can to give back to the community.

We support this motion. We will be watching with keen interest. Hopefully, something will be delivered for the people of Yerrabi.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (10.34): I thank Mr Pettersson for bringing this motion to the Assembly today and for giving me the opportunity to speak about how the ACT government can improve amenity for Canberrans in the Gungahlin region, particularly around Yerrabi Pond.

Yerrabi Pond is a much-loved local attraction in a fast-growing area of Canberra, with hundreds of people, not thousands, visiting the precinct each day. The walk is a great


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