Page 539 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013
The ACT government has directed more funding to the annual maintenance program for footpaths and cyclepaths, and this has been specifically referred to in the previous ACT Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement as well as the current agreement. $15 million has been included in the current agreement to address walking and cycling infrastructure needs, including the maintenance and construction of new works.
Walking and cycling is important for the ACT community; it helps keep people healthy, and, with Australians ranking highly in terms of obesity, it is important that the ACT government promotes a more active and healthy form of travel. I personally use the ACT paths every morning—six to 10 kilometres every day around the suburbs of Calwell and Tuggeranong hill. I enjoy the amenity of the network and find little disrepair on that walk.
Visitors to the ACT do not talk about the state of disrepair of our footpaths and cyclepaths; they speak more in envy about the extent of paths we have across Canberra and how the planning and management of the city includes provision for walking and cycling. Canberrans, too, are very appreciative of the walking and cycling network that is in place, and while there will always be requests for more, there is a high level of satisfaction with what we currently have.
The most requests for repairs or reporting of damage to footpaths and cyclepaths are lodged through Canberra Connect, with over 4,500 inquiries having been received in the last three years. Easier access to Canberra Connect and ACT government services has been a priority and has been achieved through the fix my street online reporting. A mobile phone application is now being developed to make access to the government services even more accessible.
People like to understand the processes behind any request they lodge, and I agree that information provided by Canberra Connect and the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate website can play an important role. Confirmation that a request for service has been received and is being assessed is important, as is the ability to track the request as it works its way through the assessment process and is included in a works package.
I support the amendment put forward by Minister Rattenbury. Canberra has an extensive network of footpaths and cyclepaths and there are well established processes in place to manage and maintain those paths. It is important that urgent repairs get attention in the first instance and that the subsequent priority is based on an assessment of the condition of the existing path and its location. The community would benefit from some additional information about the timing of any works, and the information provided as part of the tender process would provide a good basis for this.
Amendment agreed to.
MR WALL (Brindabella) (6.08): In closing, I thank my colleagues for their contributions today and reiterate my reasons for moving this motion. Taxpayers in the