Page 3664 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
This has been at great expense and will continue to be at great expense to the traders. I do not know what business they have lost. No doubt, business has been lost in that place. I know from personal experience that that was a unique space in Canberra. People would go to the cafes and bars and enjoy the fact that they could go somewhere where there was grass, and the loss of that had a big impact. I used to go there with my kids so they could run around. Once the spiky grass was put down, I no longer went there with my kids because they simply did not want to run around in the spiky grass—they could not.
We know that; we know the traders have fought long and hard. It is a shame the government has been so obstinate that it takes petitions, activity in the media and motions in this place before we see these backflips. It is not because the government is reacting to good policy but to pressure in the media. It is a damn shame, to be honest, Madam Speaker.
Ms Gallagher: Simply not true, Jeremy.
MR HANSON: The facts bear it out. It is the truth, because you can plot what happened in this case. The traders know exactly what happened. They know this was the government policy of 2010. Warnings in this place from the Liberal Party and the Greens and from traders were ignored. It is only the pressure from the media that has resulted in these changes. I will not go into the shambolic response from the government to it.
We welcome the government’s action on this. It is just a shame that, as in so many cases—and I have to say, in so many cases led by Mr Doszpot—it takes that sort of pressure for action like this to be instigated. I congratulate Mr Doszpot. I welcome the fact that the government is now going to act, but I am disappointed that the traders of Kingston have had to suffer and work so hard to get this restored. I hope the government now acts swiftly and effectively to make sure the damage they have done is remediated as quickly as possible.
MRS JONES (Molonglo) (10.32): I simply want to add to that. Thanks to Steve for raising this issue and to the traders for actively seeking a resolution. Things can be achieved through this place. I want to thank Shane and Katy for putting their effort into this—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mrs Jones, I ask you to refer to members by their formal names, please.
MRS JONES: Yes, I apologise. I did not write my speech this time! Thanks to Minister Rattenbury and the Chief Minister for their involvement. We will be keeping an eye on the timeliness of this, and I am sure Mr Doszpot will be as well. For traders, every week and every month that fewer people are coming through their doors are difficult for them to live with. I thank all involved. We hope it will be resolved in a timely fashion.
MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (10.33): I also welcome, in addition to Mr Hanson’s words, the response from the Chief Minister and Minister Rattenbury in regard to the