Page 3755 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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MR DOSZPOT: Minister, do you stand by suggestions made by your office to residents that Oaks Estate is too remote for such services as toilets and buses?

MR RATTENBURY: I do not think my office has made those suggestions. There is a small population in Oaks Estate, and it is an area separated from the rest of the ACT’s urban structure. That provides some challenges in providing services. What I can say is that Territory and Municipal Services has indicated that the provision of public toilets would not normally be the case in areas that are as isolated as Oaks Estate is, in terms of where the park is and the catchment of people for that park. Nonetheless, in recognition also of the popularity of the park and some of the challenges that the Oaks Estate community faces, we are actually going above and beyond to see if we can come up with an affordable solution for the Oaks Estate park. So I reject the assertion.

In terms of bus services, we have discussed this matter in this place before. I have had further discussions with the Oaks Estate community since that time, and I can inform the Assembly that ACTION buses have been looking at options as to whether ACTION can provide services more directly to Oaks Estate or whether we can improve the connections with the Qcity services out of Queanbeyan as a way of providing a better service to the people of Oaks Estate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Your office has suggested to Oaks Estate residents that they could clean their own public toilets. Do you share that view?

MR RATTENBURY: The Liberal Party seems to have very good access to my office, Madam Speaker, but—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: As I said earlier, TAMS would not normally provide a public toilet for an area the size of Oaks Estate. However, they have been canvassing a range of options. I am not aware of what all the various conversations are, but I can inform the Assembly that options are being canvassed to try to make this a viable solution. I encourage both my staff and my directorate officials to be creative. I do not want them to just take the standard approach. I asked them to try and come up with all sorts of options to make things possible. If they have canvassed options that the Oaks Estate residents do not like, that is fine, but I think most people in Canberra would prefer that both my staff and the staff of the directorate canvass all sorts of options to try to get a good solution that can meet the needs of the community.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, is it the case that access to public toilets at the end of route stops is a prerequisite for ACTION drivers to drive to places like Oaks Estate?

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