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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5070 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

fences. That is a result of the community saying to the government, "We don't want wooden fences, thank you very much, when you rebuild them. Can we have colourbond ones?"The government, through Minister Wood, saw sense in that and changed the policy and the community is now receiving colourbond fences around public housing stock.

Regeneration of the environment also has been a priority. The government has outlaid $1.65 million on landscape restoration at the Duffy shops, the Duffy side of Hindmarsh Drive, both sides of Sulwood Drive at the intersection with Drakeford Drive, and Stretton Drive between Hilder Street and the Cotter Road. On the north side, the government has been busy undertaking hazard reduction work in Belconnen urban pines.

Turning now to telecommunications, an area where there is a huge disparity between the inner city and the suburbs, I am pleased that the government has worked with Telstra to establish a new telecommunications facility in the Gungahlin Town Centre. The new facility is the result of a concerted 18-month campaign undertaken by the Stanhope government and the ACT's federal Labor representatives. It will deliver high-speed internet and improved mobile phone services for Gungahlin residents, another excellent government project. I look forward to all areas in my electorate getting access to broadband internet and encourage service providers like Telstra and TransACT to get on with it.

Mr Speaker, as amazing as it may seem, up until last month residents of north Conder had no television reception. After years of lobbying by the member for Canberra, Annette Ellis, Urban Services has been granted a licence by the Australian Communications Authority to retransmit the local television stations from a new transmitter at the Banks water tank. The new service will provide people living in the TV black spot area of Barringer Street, Eaglemont Retreat and the northern part of Templestowe Avenue in Conder with much improved reception for all the local television stations.

On arts, culture and festivals, there is often a view among some in our community that cultural life does not exist in the suburbs. It is not a view that the government holds. We have been active in boosting the arts and cultural facilities in Belconnen, Gungahlin, and Tuggeranong. Projects such as "Gungahlin in mosaic"at the Gungahlin library and community centre, increased funding for the outstanding Tuggeranong community festival and the study of the future of Belconnen's arts and cultural facilities are examples that come to mind.

We have achieved a great deal for suburban Canberra in our first two years, but there is a lot still to be done. No government can fix every problem and address every issue. There are still many challenges ahead. In my electorate of Brindabella, I believe that we need to diversify the economic and employment base. We rely too heavily on a couple of major Commonwealth departments.

In the future, I would like to see a higher education facility, such as a campus for the Canberra Institute of Technology, located in Tuggeranong. Alternatively, the University of Canberra could consider scrapping its disastrous loss-making venture in Brisbane and relocating it to Tuggeranong. That would be a welcome move and an investment in our local economy.

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