Page 3662 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013

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“(1) notes that:

(a) traders within the Green Square Kingston shopping precinct are appreciative of improvements to amenities in the Green Square precinct undertaken by the Government in 2010 following a program of public consultation;

(b) the upgraded paving and seating provided by the Government provides further potential for community use; and

(c) the Government has accepted the offer by some of the Kingston traders to fund the reinstatement of grassed areas and ongoing maintenance costs of the grass in the future; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) take note of the petition circulated by the traders, residents and businesses that outlines their views on the impact that the loss of grassed areas is having on the area; and

(b) work with Kingston businesses to determine the best use of the spaces in Green Square, and how to better ensure they are better utilised by the community.”.

Having moved that amendment I propose that we go forward. Despite some delay and obviously some evident frustration—we can see that in the media reports that have come out this morning—I think we have a positive way forward, and I look forward to TAMS working collaboratively with those who have made the offer to get this happening in Kingston.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (10.24): I rise to briefly speak to the amendment, which the government will support, and explain the circumstances particularly around the lateness of the reply. The Minister for Territory and Municipal Services has covered the history adequately of what led to the decision to redesign Green Square back in 2010. Some of the decisions were taken mindful of the extreme drought that we were experiencing at that time. Part of our job is to respond to the situation of the time. The time now is that we have secured our water supply. We are not experiencing extreme drought, and the Kingston traders have put a proposal to me that, on the surface looks very reasonable in terms of changing the decision that was taken in 2010 and responding to the concerns of the traders that have been presented to me.

I have written to Gabi overnight after discussing the letter with my ministerial colleague. I apologise for the fact that a letter that was written to me on 29 August was not responded to in a timely fashion. It left my office on 29 August for advice to be provided to me and a response to be drafted. I wanted to understand the proposal outlined to me and what TAMS’s view of that proposal was. It certainly looked to me to be very reasonable. I was only alerted to the fact that we had not replied when the Chronicle, or it might have been the CityNews, contacted me last week to ask about my response to that letter. That set off a process of going to find the letter. It was

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