Page 538 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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The footpaths, of course, are a common complaint. There is always cracking. I did notice the other day that I got a letter from the minister which I think was 10 months in the writing. It did say that many of the areas that I had complained about have been fixed. There is a problem if it takes 10 months to get an answer on some of these things.

One footpath along Ginninderra Creek, which is one that I use regularly, was badly broken up—and the minister did take steps to address the issue—with weeds growing through the cracks. I wrote to the minister and some work was done about this about 18 months ago, but because it was a patch-up job the results have been short-lived. The cracks from the past have reappeared and the grass is starting to grow through those cracks again so that the path has degraded considerably. I wrote to the minister about this because it is a very busy bicycle path, but it is unlit. The problems there were so great that it became a hazard at night for cyclists, and cyclists were complaining to me about that.

Trees have caused problems. In one case I was asked to tell the minister that the overhanging trees were so low that trucks would strip the branches from the trees and leave the debris strewn on the road. After my representations the trees were pruned, much to the relief of the residents.

Many constituents, particularly those in Weetangera, complained to me over a period late last year that they had contacted Canberra Connect on a number of occasions in relation to dead and dying trees in their suburb but nothing happened. When I made representations, happily, those things were fixed.

Mr Rattenbury, the minister, tells us from time to time, “There is no need to write to me. All you have to do is contact Canberra Connect or “fix my street”.” Quite frankly, it does not work. It should not have to be the case that members in this place have to make representations about dead and dying trees. But if constituents ring fix my street or Canberra Connect and say, “I have got a dead and dying tree,” nothing happens. They might do it two or three times. They come to you, they write to you or they send you an email; you do something about it and suddenly it is fixed. If Mr Rattenbury does not want members writing to him about dead and dying trees and holes in footpaths, actually get the Canberra Connect system to work and get fix my street to work and then we will all have a lot less to do.

There are potholes everywhere. You have to remember that Canberra is a blessed place and there are many retired government engineers around the place who can tell you just how bad the roadworks are. I was recently told by a retired government engineer that if you fix a pothole properly it will last longer and be stronger than the road around it. But we constantly have the case in the ACT where we waste money because we fix a pothole and the next time it rains that same pothole is there for all to see again.

Playgrounds attract a lot of attention from residents. And there was some mention last week about the Holt community park. I have had representations from people involved in the Holt community park who have taken it upon themselves, very

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