Page 4315 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 27 November 2013

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However, I think I have made it very clear in my speech that a few fully fenced parks would make a big difference.

Regarding the graffiti, I wonder if it is good enough for me to report here in the Assembly that there are phallic symbols on the playground at Amaroo. And I wonder whether the minister would be able to have his department go and inspect the park, which is at the north end of the lake where the bridge goes across Yerrabi Pond, next door to one of the Amaroo ghost houses. I am sure Minister Corbell will be able to tell you where that is.

I am disappointed that the minister is, in essence, saying that it might not be a possibility to have some playgrounds fenced. I would like some attention given to the particular playgrounds that I have mentioned if that is possible. I understand that money is an issue, and maintenance costs money too. I think there is quite a lot of work being done in that area. But I remind the government that playgrounds are simply a core municipal service. If more money is required, maybe more money should be requested for this area. This is more important to many people than other projects that are on the government’s agenda. People pay their rates in the suburbs all across the city—which, I might add, are increasing under this government—yet these basic services are not really keeping up with the changes in our suburbs.

As I stated earlier, playgrounds may seem unimportant to some, because they are small, but they are vital for the mental health of mums, dads and carers. A walk to the park in the fresh air can be the highlight of the day for many at-home parents. Children also benefit hugely from being able to walk or ride a bike to their local playground, where they develop confidence, keep active and spend some pent-up energy. These playgrounds are vital for their health and wellbeing.

There are 507 public playgrounds across the ACT. I would really appreciate knowing how often they are assessed for the changing needs of growing children in the area or if there is a range of age groups catered to within parks within a given geographical area. And I would like some consideration given to a limited number of parks being fenced, and advertised as such, so that parents who need to find that are able to find it.

In conclusion, I urge the government to remember that it is a core service and it is very important in promoting active lifestyles for children.

I want to also put on the record thanks to all the mums, dads and carers who do the hard work of raising children, for their selfless contribution to our future. I know how tough your day can be; I will continue to do all I can, from where I sit on the opposition benches, to see infrastructure that eases your day and gives you the rest you and your children deserve.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

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