Page 2497 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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Woden and Weston Creek seems to be unreasonable, particularly in light of the Weston Creek demographic.

The Woden library is poorly situated. People travelling from Weston Creek to take advantage of that service have a long outdoor walk from the interchange to the library. There is no way of accessing the library without facing stairs and ramps from the interchange. Parking nearby is most inadequate. The only solution for Weston Creek residents is to face the disabled-unfriendly access from car parks and the bus interchange or to abandon the car and catch two buses to allow a more accessible drop-off. Given the ageing population of Weston Creek, and some of these factors that I have raised, this is something that the government will need to look at in the coming years.

Council also identified the need for provision of a modest indoor swimming facility. Recreational and therapeutic sources of activity are an integral aspect of community development, especially for an ageing population, and Weston Creek is sorely lacking in this area. At local levels in the region, I understand, there is still concern that the service station in Duffy, destroyed by fire in the 2003 bushfires, is yet to be rebuilt.

There are many other issues affecting the residents of Weston Creek. In all the discussion about Molonglo Valley development there are concerns that not enough consultation has occurred with the residents of Weston Creek. Of course such consultations are advantageous from both sides. Whilst Weston Creek residents are keen to maintain their surrounding bushland, they also recognise that reasonable and proximate development may help their cause for community-based facilities.

The issue is about consultation, and Weston Creek residents deserve the fullest attention in this regard. If development in the Molonglo Valley region is not progressed for an extended period, a concern about the denuded landscape and consequential dust effect is a real issue in the Weston Creek district.

As I am running out if time, I will briefly talk about community fire units. Failure of the government to plan for the recommended level of community fire units has already been identified. Our estimates dissenting report has raised the issue of misplaced priorities, with the failure of the government to provide the recommended level of CFUs, with a foreshadowed indefinite wait for an expected 58 additional units to meet the recommended level. Amazingly, even after the 2003 firestorm the Weston Creek area of eight suburbs is provided with only three community fire units, estimated to grow to four.

I bring these issues to the attention of the government in the hope that some progress can be made to upgrade facilities in the Weston Creek area.

Emergency services

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.23): On 1 July we mark the anniversary of two historic events, the commencement of the Emergencies Act 2004 and the creation of the Emergency Services Authority. The Emergencies Act introduces a new era of emergency management in the ACT by updating and clarifying the planning and management of our ambulance, bushfire, fire

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