Page 534 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013
more for their money and they do not like being ignored. It seems to me that this government, who has been in power for 10 years and counting, is continuing to play catch-up when it comes to core infrastructure.
Whether we turn our minds to their track record on delivery of major infrastructure projects or we go to the smaller projects, the pattern is the same—consumers at offices across the city are shaking their head in dismay at the sheer lack of vision that sees several smaller road projects in the same region commenced at the same time, leaving motorists in the middle of a perfect storm of gridlock during peak hour.
Will the government heed the message delivered loud and clear to them by the people of Canberra and, in particular, south Woden and Tuggeranong valley at last year’s election? Will they pay more attention to the little things that matter every day to Canberrans? About that, I am not sure.
Canberra is an ageing city and it would not be reasonable to expect every footpath or shared path in every suburb to be fixed the moment someone raises concerns. However, in saying that, it is also unreasonable to expect to wait years to see repairs made. It is also unreasonable to expect that these core maintenance issues are not the subject of a more strategic plan or schedule.
I am sure the minister will be very quick to point out that there have been a number of studies, reviews or reports and maybe even some feasibility studies commissioned on the state of footpaths in the territory. I must point out that all of these mean very little to the average pedestrian trying to negotiate Canberra’s suburban footpaths. One report that does stand out on the TAMS website is the report titled Cycling and pedestrian network—priority infrastructure for capital works, dated February 2011. The TAMS website states that this report was commissioned in 2009 to review, for the second time, the 2007 priority report.
The question must be asked: are we really getting anywhere and is work actually getting done? The Territory and Municipal Services annual report from 2011-12 tells us that there are 2,190 kilometres of footpaths in the ACT. It also tells us that only 27,000 square metres of the network received any maintenance during that time frame. Again, I reiterate that it would be unreasonable to expect from any government that maintenance and repair work such as footpaths should be tackled immediately after a phone call is taken or a complaint received. However, I think it is reasonable to make it easy for the public to see when they can expect to see repair work undertaken.
In anticipation of Mr Rattenbury moving his amendment, I am pleased to see that there has been an acknowledgement of the issues. While we do understand that it would take considerable resources to list each individual footpath in need of repair, we are happy with the compromise demonstrated in Mr Rattenbury’s pending amendment.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (5.53): I thank Mr Wall for moving this motion today. I appreciate that he has obviously taken a real interest in these