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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 November 2021) . . Page.. 3565 ..

We have some more spending on some of our local shops, including Evatt, Macquarie and Aranda, which is really good. I know many in west Belconnen feel like their area has fallen behind and is in need of attention. I would love to see the Charnwood shops receive some attention, including making the pavers at those shops safe for locals. A few of us have asked questions about that in the Assembly and we are all hoping for a good solution soon.

It is great to see a budget that progresses so many shared commitments on public transport, active transport and the circular economy. I look forward to seeing how our city services will improve and how we will be dealing with some of the local issues that people bring to us all the time. The ACT Greens are keen to see more jobs and more spend in these areas, to achieve these ambitious goals. I thank Minister Steel for his conscientious work on transport and city services. We look forward to another productive year.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.26): I am pleased to speak today about the Appropriation Bill 2021-2022 in relation to my shadow responsibility for city services. As all of us in this chamber know, city services is the bread and butter of local government here. Our parliament is unique in the way that it incorporates both territory—in some respects state equivalent—and local council responsibilities. Many members often comment that it is city services issues that their residents stop them to talk about when they are out and about. I know this has been the case for me.

People lead busy lives. They are getting on with everything that is going on with their families, their homes, their jobs, the pandemic—everything about their life. They do not often think to contact their local politician when they have an issue, but when they do, it is often because they have spent weeks, months or even years trying to get a particular issue resolved.

This may be as simple as a pothole near their house, a residential parking issue or a neighbourhood barking dog. There are so many of these local city services issues that people are so impacted by. Sometimes we refer to it as the three Rs—roads, rates and rubbish.

City services may not be the sexiest of government portfolios or the most exciting, but it is certainly one of the most important, every day, to residents. That is why I was disappointed to see that this budget is, if you like, more of the same for city services—the same initiatives, the same projects and the same promises that we have had over past years.

For example, the southern memorial park development in the city services area is potentially one of the larger infrastructure projects. $1.6 million was allocated in this budget for design over a four-year period. This, of course, adds to the previously allocated $804,000 in the 2020-21 budget and $721,000 in the 2019-20 budget, both of which were also for the detailed design. Obviously, detailed design is important, but this southern memorial park has been talked about for years and years. It would be nice to see further progress on this project.

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