Page 677 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 9 March 2011

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selling them. If you change your mind or you have done your ride, you can trade them back for $3. It is an amazing scheme.

As a result of having the close-to-free helmets, in December last year 9,650 trips were made on the Melbourne bikes. I do not know if it is going to be a long-term success, but it is a really interesting model that the ACT should look at.

I have some issues with the effectively free bike helmet scheme; it was introduced just before Christmas and the local bike shops were not particularly pleased to find that they were not going to be selling any more helmets, of course. And I did observe some people in Melbourne riding around on their own bikes with one of the bike share helmets. So that is one issue. Melbourne and Brisbane, I believe, from my Googling, are the only cities in the world to have tried introducing a bike share scheme and having compulsory helmets. I am not suggesting that we get rid of helmets, but it is a significant issue in terms of promoting bike use.

Melbourne clearly has major congestion problems in the CBD, and it has been putting a lot of work into promoting bicycling. This is something that we all should look at. There is Melbourne and there is also Brisbane, but I have not personally seen the Brisbane one so I am not quite as enthusiastic about it. This is something that it would well behove Canberra to look at. In a few months we will have a real idea of how it is going; we can look at it and see if this is the sort of model that we should be trying to replicate in Canberra.

Canberra has congestion problems, and a lot of Canberra is really suitable for bike riding. This is the sort of thing which could make Canberrans more healthy, through a little bit of exercise; reduce the stress on our roads; reduce the congestion on our roads; reduce climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and reduce costs for Canberra families because, instead of having to drive a car or catch a bus for short distances, they could come into the city or the town centres, hire a bike to go somewhere, return it again and not have to have a car to do a short trip during the day. It is something which we should be looking at as a possible way forward for the ACT.

Clean Up Australia Day

Disability services—intentional communities

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (6.46): Firstly, I would like to follow up on Mr Doszpot’s comment on Clean Up Australia Day. I also participated in Clean Up Australia Day, down in the local area near me at Richardson. We were joined by a number of people from the local community. Clean Up Australia Day is becoming part and parcel of being part of Australia and being part of Canberra.

I would like to take a few minutes to talk on the intentional communities that we announced as a government just recently. Since becoming minister for disability, I have been keen to work with the sector to develop alternative supported accommodation models for people with a disability and to provide carers with some security around the accommodation needs of their children. I was therefore delighted last week to receive in my office a letter of support from Janet Salisbury of Yarralumla, signed by 42 others, applauding the ACT government for its vision in agreeing to develop an intentional community at Swinger Hill.

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