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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 897 ..

for all families, to make it easier to buy or rent in this great city, and to make Canberra the capital not just in name but in heart. With the right priorities, the right vision and the right attitude we can deliver the governance Canberrans deserve. We can do better than this budget. We must do better than this budget. Canberra is counting on us.

MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (5.34): I wholeheartedly endorse the opposition leader’s comments and critique. I want to speak from my own personal experience during the campaign and since being elected. I have been talking to people at their front doors and at shopping centres.

The common theme of such discussions includes gross dissatisfaction with the state of the roads. Steady but gentle rain produces significant potholing in major roads, which are poorly repaired, only for such damage to be repeated the next time the rain decides to visit us. I hear about the burden of rates, not just on households but on businesses. Businesses are discouraged from remaining in the ACT by the high burden of rates, either directly or through rental costs and lease costs. They contemplate or actually act to move elsewhere. The burden of rates on household budgets is apparent to me as I talk to people in my electorate of Ginninderra in particular, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage in the face of rising other costs as well.

I endorse the establishment of a poverty taskforce. That would reveal many of the failures of the spending priorities of this government.

At shopping centres in particular, I am constantly reminded of the poor state of paving, with uneven and broken paving. I invite my fellow Ginninderra members to visit Charnwood shops to see very uneven and broken paving that has to be managed by elderly and disabled people. White markings on paving do not seem to indicate that it is being repaired but are just a maze of things to watch out for as you walk or take your wheelchair or other mobility device across the area.

This is what I hear when I talk to the people of my electorate and others. The priorities of this government are not focused on the community, and there needs to be a rebalancing of the government’s expenditure priorities. It has often been said, and it is a true adage, that roads, rates and rubbish are what most people notice. That is indeed the case. What people notice is the poor delivery of such utilities and services. This is solvable by addressing priorities of spending, looking at what affects most people most of their days, most of their lives. Why is that not a priority of a government that is meant to be performing both council and state functions?

I am very disappointed in the budget that has been presented. I hope that the government reflects, and perhaps even consults more closely with the community, on the outcomes of its expenditures. I would welcome the Chief Minister coming with me to west Belconnen to talk to shoppers and residents to see what they think, what they have to deal with daily, and to see evidence of wrong spending priorities.

The issues of policing and public housing have been well rehearsed in this place, even today. These are failures that the community notices that affect them daily. I express my extreme disappointment at the government’s priorities as expressed in this budget.

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