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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1147 ..


That is the spirit in which the petition has been brought here today. How do we keep Yerrabi Pond growing with our community so that it is realising all the potential as a recreation space that it can potentially realise?

The best thing to come out of this whole process has been the initiative of the petitioners. They have said, “We don’t just want a petition saying, ‘Do this.’ We want to stay involved. We want a Friends of Yerrabi Pond group. We want to keep investing in this area. We want to keep holding government to account.”

There is nothing wrong in doing that. That is a great aspect of our democracy. I say go for it. I want John and Kay knocking on my door all the time telling me to do this or that. It is fantastic to have that initiative within our community. As a local member, I say, “Great. You have made clear what we need to get on and do. We all love this space. Let’s do it.”

I am very heartened to hear that every member from Yerrabi wants to see this place invested in. There is a lot of potential for us to work together to realise that. It is also great to have the minister so committed to seeing that this continues to grow.

We have done work on the pond and the area around the pond, as the minister has pointed out. The mural that was put in last year is absolutely stunning. It has added to that part of the foreshore and brought a lot of colour and vibrancy to the area. The nature play area is really good. I will always advocate for nature play. The minister can attest to that. Every time I talk to him about a park, I say, “Great. Can we put nature play in it?” There is something great about being able to get dirty and play with sticks. I know we say that is for kids, but, as an adult, I like to do that too. Let us consider not just how we are using the area for kids, but how we can continue to invest for all ages.

That leads to another misnomer we get sucked into with Gungahlin. Not only do we have older spaces, but our community is not just young: we have all ages. We have all groups; we have all abilities out there. Let’s start creating a multi-use space that meets all our community’s needs.

In projects I have done across the community where we have consulted in other areas, seating is always popular. I hear from many different people that it is because they are too old and they want to sit down. That is usually what I hear from my father. If you have kids, you just want to sit down while the kids can run and you can have five minutes off. Whatever it is, you always want to be able to sit. There are lots of needs; that is what I am saying here. Let’s start considering those.

I look at this motion as the next great step in realising the potential of Yerrabi Pond. I hope that the Friends of Yerrabi Pond get going. I hope we see that enthusiasm that has driven us to today’s point continue to grow and develop. I look forward to working with the Friends of Yerrabi Pond in continuing to develop this area over the coming years so that it continues to be an asset to our community.


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