Page 2269 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

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community use as we encourage and facilitate the democratic public ownership of public space.

The ACT government manages over 5,000 hectares of urban parkland in Canberra, ranging from town and district parks through to pedestrian parkland, road verges and semi-natural open space. The standard of maintenance of these parklands is comparable to any other city in Australia. This is clearly evident by the levels of customer satisfaction reported by the community through the Canberra Urban Parks and Places annual customer satisfaction survey on the maintenance of our urban parks.

Since 1999, the level of visitor satisfaction with the experience provided in Canberra’s district and town parks has risen from 89 per cent to 96 per cent. Interviews with visitors to these parks identified that almost all of these parks were very attractively presented and clean and well maintained. This is a significant achievement, considering that almost eight million people visited town and district parks in 2004.

Another key finding from this survey was that the Canberra community indicated a positive trend in satisfaction with general cleaning and maintenance of open space facilities in 2004. This included road verges and areas surrounding major roads, laneways, underpasses, dry land and irrigated grass areas, bus shelters, playgrounds, toilet blocks in parks and suburban shopping centres. It is clear that our community and visitors to the territory are enjoying the use of our public space and our urban surrounds.

Maintenance standards for landscape and built assets, cleaning and litter removal were being delivered in accordance with specifications. This is demonstrated by performance monitoring of service providers delivering horticultural asset maintenance and cleaning services to government and a sense of community ownership over public spaces achieved through the facilitation of community involvement in the maintenance and improvement of our open spaces.

There are currently over 50 businesses and community groups involved in adopt-a-road activities, which reduce the amount of litter along our major roads. The garden regeneration project, a strong government and community partnership, has also been highly successful in supporting people’s recovery from the bushfires through the re-establishment of their fire-affected gardens. To date, volunteer helpers have planted 200 fire-affected gardens at garden days organised through this project.

The community have also been actively involved in the Yarralumla Creek restoration project as part of Clean Up Australia Day; trees for mum planting on Mother’s Day; Landcare activities; and through Conservation Volunteers Australia. I have also been involved with Greening Australia in several of their replanting projects. But urban surround refers not only to our open spaces and parklands but also to the urban environment in which we live, shop and work.

Yesterday Mr Pratt raised in debate a matter regarding the Calwell shopping centre. As a fellow member for Brindabella, I am pleased that he is taking an active interest in the local area. I live in Calwell and I have done so since 1989, before the shops themselves were built, when our newspapers were bought from a red, double-decker bus parked near the side of the now-vibrant shopping centre.

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