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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3089 ..


used outdoor activities, such as the Mount Majura hiking path near Hackett shops, the Downer oval and Watson, which will soon be home to a new inner north play space.

Visitors to local shops should not have to rely on private toilet facilities, because purchasing at a cafe or pub is not an option that everyone can afford. In our aspiration to be an age-friendly city, public toilet facilities play an essential role, particularly for the very young and older Canberrans. Having access to public toilet facilities allows people to live their life without having to worry about whether or not they may be able to access things that are really necessary to getting out and about. I am pleased to sponsor this petition.

Melba—recreation area—petition 15-21

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.17): I rise to speak in support of the recreation area near Melba high school. This playground is a wonderful initiative to make our communities more inclusive and accessible to people of all abilities. I am glad to be able to support it. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to meet with Tim and Hector and many members of the team at the barbecue hosted by the SMILE group. I am grateful that it was attended by members of the Canberra Liberals, ACT Labor and the ACT Greens.

I wish also to express my praise and admiration for the expert community organising that went into this project. From creating a Facebook group, doorknocking, letterboxing and hosting a community barbecue with the great support of the Belconnen Community Council, the SMILE group have set a stellar example of how to plan, consult and execute. I strongly encourage the ACT government to continue to meet these standards, should the future of the project pass to them.

In the time I have spent in Melba doorknocking and getting to know the residents, I have learnt that Melba is a tight community and people look after each other. An example of this can be seen in the development of the Melba shops. For a long time, the Melba shops were not a particularly appealing shopping location but, after landscaping, renovations and the introduction of more businesses, the residents of Melba have grown to love their shops. When the shops were ramraided earlier this year, residents offered their talents and time to help clean up the damage and install bollards to protect against future raids. In turn, the businesses have displayed great charity and donated meals, hams and sausage sizzle supplies to community functions and people doing it tough.

This project is a great opportunity to experiment and innovate for future inclusive playgrounds. The SMILE Facebook page has multiple examples of innovative play equipment that I have not seen in other playgrounds, such as a swing that can be used by both a parent and a child at the same time. As the community have looked after each other and worked together to improve their suburb, we in the Assembly should meet them halfway and provide what assistance we can to make this dream a reality. It is my pleasure to represent these residents, and I commend the petition to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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