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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (5 March) . . Page.. 552 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

I think it is a legitimate pastime-one for which all governments have catered because there are some very fine skate parks around the place. At least, in Tuggeranong we have a world-class skate park. I might indicate that it was this minister who years ago first allocated the land and that government developed it.

I haven't heard concerns about those sharp devices-I'm not sure that is the correct term. They are rounded; they certainly do stick out a little from the surrounding brick work or form work. It hasn't done anything more to me than to say that it seems a reasonably effective way of discouraging skateboarders where, perhaps, they might have found better places to engage in their activity.

MS DUNDAS: I have a supplementary question. I am interested to hear that the minister has not heard any complaints, because I have heard a number. I would like to ask the minister if he will be looking into this issue, as he has indicated. Will he also be looking into public safety concerns that have been raised about these devices? I can assure him that some of them are quite sharp-the ones around the chess pit, as an example.

Could he also see whether or not any consideration of public safety was taken into account when these devices were first put into place? If there are complaints being raised by shopkeepers, has he undertaken to have discussions with the skateboarders about the problems arising from these devices and how we can work with the skateboarders and the community to make the city safe for all?

MR WOOD: I had discussions with skateboarders, I confess, quite some time ago when we were planning the Tuggeranong skate park. That goes back in history. I haven't had more recent discussions. I certainly recall the vehement objections of shopkeepers around Garema Place, for example, about how the skateboarders disturbed their customers and the community.

I want to express sympathy to skateboarders. It is part of today's culture. I repeat: we have provided them with great facilities.

To get back to your question about the safety issues: you have raised if for the first time. I will take those on board and invite you to come and see me. Let us talk about it to see if there are genuine safety issues about those little bits of metal.

Gungahlin Drive extension

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, last year during the ongoing debate on the route of the Gungahlin Drive extension, you committed yourself, on behalf of the Labor Party, to building along the western route and, in doing so, meeting the schedule outlined in the capital works program of having it built by 2003-04.

In the Canberra Times of 26 February this year it was stated that the government was still working towards meeting that deadline of building the road by 2003-04 but that it was too early to say whether it would happen. Minister, can you confirm that the Gungahlin Drive extension will be finished by the end of the 2003-04 financial year?

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