Page 4312 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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detail on the audits and inspection programs undertaken by the government on playgrounds and play spaces. I am very comfortable with that. I am quite happy for the community to have that information. That is why the amendment reflects that provision.

As the minister, I do receive quite a few requests from people across Canberra for playgrounds to be installed in their street or for the equipment at people’s local parks to be upgraded, often because their children have grown up to the next stage and they do not consider the equipment to be suitable for their child anymore. However, it is very important, given the high level of safety checks and maintenance, that we do not install more equipment than we are able to maintain. As I have said, the focus at the moment is on keeping the 500-odd existing playgrounds at a good, safe standard and ensuring that we are able to provide playgrounds which cater for the broad range of ages that use them.

I will leave my remarks there. This is one area on which there is, to some extent, a large amount of agreement—the value of playgrounds, the fact that parents do make good use of them. We are very lucky in Canberra to have so many of them, and to have them in most cases within walking distance of the family home. Perhaps in a family where you are out in the suburbs, dad has to take the car to go to work for the day and mum is left without the car, having that playground within walking distance is particularly valuable so that people can get out of the house, get some sunshine and get a break from perhaps the home environment. I think we all know that those things are very important.

I have spelled out the clear maintenance regime to which there is a commitment. Getting the playgrounds upgraded is a challenge for government. The cost is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to take an old one and turn it into a new one. There is a steady program. However, with 500, you can imagine it is going to take some time to work through that complete list. In some ways, an old playground is not necessarily a bad one. Some of them are still great. They are fun and kids like them. So we do not necessarily need to say that an old playground is a bad playground in terms simply of age. It is about safety. I now move the amendment circulated in my name:

Omit all words after paragraph (1)(c), substitute:

“(d) that ACT playgrounds are inspected on a regular program consistent with Australian Standards which define requirements for maintenance inspections of playgrounds;

(e) that the ACT continues to manage and develop playgrounds that respond to diverse needs; and

(f) there is an on-going capital works program aligned with an asset management strategy that focuses on improving ACT play spaces, in line with Australian and ACT standards and best practice contemporary play space design, which aims to improve health and recreational outcomes; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

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