Page 838 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 9 March 2005
I understand that governments cannot do everything but I would like to put on the record some of the concerns that were raised with me, especially for the relevant ministers to look at and to see where they can improve services in the area. One of the issues is access to government shopfronts and Canberra Connect in Gungahlin. Buses are an issue. I note there has been some improvement in recent times of buses going to the city on weekdays, but still on weekends I think more needs to be done. There is also the issue that buses are more frequent to the city than to Belconnen. Whilst this is appropriate at peak times, I have spoken to a lot of people out in Gungahlin and it seems that during the day, during the non-peak times, Belconnen is more the place they want to go.
Broadband access continues to be an issue in Gungahlin. I know Telstra is working hard to get broadband to as many people as possible but, unfortunately, a lot of people still cannot access it, and it is a significant issue. In fact, the youth centre itself has been trying to get broadband for some time and is unable to. With dial-up being very slow, it is very frustrating for them. I think broadband will continue to be an issue and it would be great to see the ACT government take a bit of a proactive role and try and promote initiatives and promote alternative providers to Telstra.
Another significant issue is the reduction of parking facilities outside the youth centre. I understand there is going to be some construction work undertaken there and I think all the parks right out the front will go. That is a real concern, in particular for disabled access, and so I just draw the attention of the house to that. There are several other points but the only other one I want to talk a bit about is the reduction in the size of the youth centre. I note that the fence has been moved and there is not much outside play area any more. A lot of people have commented on the restrictiveness of that.
I want to briefly touch on another issue. For question time today I gave the Minister for Planning adequate notice of fairly straightforward questions. Unfortunately, all we were able to get back from Mr Corbell was things that are on the public record. I asked specific questions about the exact amount of the successful tender for section 87. I asked specifically what was the highest bid and I asked specifically about the terms and conditions of payment for the successful tenderer. All I was able to get was that it was in the vicinity of $7 million. I think it is unfortunate, given that I took the time to give the minister notice of the questions, that he could not have given a much more adequate response so that we could take it away from question time. I find that very disappointing. Hopefully, next time, when those sorts of circumstances arise, the minister and his office will be more helpful and more forthcoming with information. I certainly hope we will see a little more transparency from the Minister for Planning on these issues in the future.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (6.26): I would like to relay to members the experience of a constituent at the Canberra Hospital. This person has written to me and I would like to quote the letter in some part:
I am writing to you as a constituent that had the experience of accessing the Emergency Department at the Canberra Hospital. My six year old son had fallen off the monkey bars at his school today and had to be taken to the Hospital to check if