Page 3032 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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by Dr Bourke. It is a wally motion. It really is a waste of the Assembly’s time. I can say that the opposition will not be supporting it. I will wait to see whether we call a division or not because I really think it is probably something that is not even worth that merit.

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (4.42): I rise to support Dr Bourke’s motion. An active government that places itself in the community, working with residents to build a Canberra that provides a good life for everyone that lives here, is something that we on this side of thy chamber aim to be. It is not surprising that yet again we hear those on the other side talking Canberra down while we are trying to talk it up, doing our very best for our Canberra community.

The initiatives presented in this year’s budget show that this Labor government is an active and transformational government, one that is delivering good facilities, programs and services for the people of Canberra. Whilst the debate over the 2013-14 budget has focused on large-scale projects such as capital metro—a project, I might add, that will provide long-term benefits for all Canberrans over the coming decades—little has been said, especially by those on the other side, about the initiatives that will benefit the majority of Canberrans, especially our investments in local suburban infrastructure and targeted assistance for Canberrans doing it tough.

The commitments in this budget to revitalise shopping centres, which have already been mentioned by Mr Bourke in his speech, building new drinking fountains and barbeques like the one at Umbagong park, the design of new footpaths and cycleways and upgrades to skate parks will ensure that our suburbs remain great places to live and to raise a family.

The $1.1 million to build high priority footpaths across the ACT, including those in the suburb of Holt, will greatly improve mobility and access to services for Canberra’s parents and elderly residents, as will our recent reform to the seniors’ gold card which is now accessible to Canberrans over 70 years or older. This provides free public transport to approximately 9,000 additional elderly residents.

In the past years we have invested nearly $14 million in our suburban shopping centres. I know that this has been talked about at length but it is an important thing that we continue to mention that because these are the things that make our communities stronger and better places to live. Hawker, Higgins, Holt, Scullin and Melba have been delivered in those shopping upgrade commitments. We are building on this work by committing to the upgrades of Evatt and Florey with the designs which are currently open for public consultation.

As I have said time and time again in this place, I know how important each of our suburbs are to my neighbours in west Belconnen. So it is important that we continue to ensure our local shopping centres and community infrastructure are able to retain their important role in supporting community wellbeing and social inclusion.

It is our investments in programs and services to improve social inclusion that I turn to next, Mr Assistant Speaker. Last night I spoke briefly during the debate about this government’s reforms to paying off infringements. The $3.6 million targeted

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