Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 802 ..
Mr Beagle and his wife, Kay, mobilised to start the petition; they are also establishing the Friends of Yerrabi Pond organisation to harness community support and ensure that the neglected Yerrabi Pond receives the attention that it needs—not just this week or this month, but now and into the future.
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 lights, bins, taps, playgrounds and barbecues. Yerrabi Pond is a community hub in Gungahlin—well, it should be, and I hope it will be one day once it gets the government attention it deserves and families and local residents, young and old, decide it is an attractive place to visit and be together.
I want to make two more points. Firstly, I want to highlight the fact that Yerrabi is the only Canberra electorate that does not have a minister representing the area. That was a decision of the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr. It is no surprise, therefore, that many parts of Gungahlin and 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 ministers.
Finally, I note that one of the many signs around Yerrabi Pond erected by John and his team encouraging people to sign a petition said, “The Friends of Yerrabi Pond 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.” How sad is that? It is wrong. The Labor-Greens government are meant to be the active ones. They are meant to be the ones achieving action to bring the pond, and the surrounding facilities and parklands, to a better state for everyone. Instead, it has been left to an 89-year-old Canberra warrior named John Beagle to do the government’s job, to bring Yerrabi Pond to a state the community expects so that the community can enjoy it. If only Mr Barr had appointed a minister to represent Yerrabi, things might have been so different.
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (10.11): I want to speak on the Chisholm village petition. This has been an extraordinary exercise, the likes of which I have not seen before and certainly have not participated in before.
Testament to the unity of the three of us coming together is that on what I will call the WhatsApp group between the three of us—even though it is SMS—there has been discussion this morning about the fact that the official total on that petition was 1,364. I need to note that there were 70 signatures on the backs of pages, because they ran out of space, that were not counted as being official. The actual number would have been quite high. And the emails continue to come in.
I want to thank Ms Burch and Mr Davis for their ability to put our differences aside to, hopefully, bring about an outcome which aligns with the wishes of the bulk of the community in Chisholm. Ultimately, that outcome is still in the balance.