Page 2532 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

were still not confirmed until the June budget. I have asked before how in three days the government was able to adequately consider all the community feedback and how it was able to consult with the relevant departments and officials to advise on the most appropriate course of action. This is just one example of many where this government has failed to appropriately consult the community and listen to what they want.

What about more recently with the Retirement Villages Amendment Bill? The review process was clearly not up to scratch and closer attention needed to be paid to the particular interpretations. It is fortunate that the potential flaws were recognised by affected stakeholders and residents of retirement villages, because they were not foreshadowed by government officials—just another example of poor communication with the community from this government.

The relocation of the Canberra Seniors Centre has dragged on now for nearly five years and in that time many promises have been made and programs for completion proposed. At least $500,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on a design feasibility study and the centre is still not any closer to achieving new premises. These are just a few examples, but the list goes on.

Even this morning in the Canberra Times I read that work had begun in an effort to make Canberra suburbs more age friendly. The article said that older Canberrans in Ainslie, Monash, Kaleen and Weston will find it easier to walk to their local shops as footpaths and roads are upgraded to make the suburbs more age friendly. This is ridiculous. Should not all suburbs have footpaths that are safe and accessible for all Canberrans regardless of age? This is a clear example of where the government has failed to do its job over the last 15 years, and we on this side of the chamber are regularly reminded of it.

Every week we have constituents, old and young, emailing and calling, disgusted at the unsafe condition of their local footpaths. I have even had an elderly woman contact me complaining that a footpath in her suburb which she uses to get to and from her local shops was in such bad condition that she chose to push her walker along the road instead of risking tripping on the cracked footpath. The ACT has one of the fastest growing populations over the age of 60 in Australia, and this is the best we can offer. This government should be ashamed of their activities with regard to these seniors.

In relation to my comments about footpaths, I will briefly mention Access Canberra. Access Canberra was established, supposedly, to allow people who wish to engage with the government a single point of contact to do so. However, for older Canberrans it has proven difficult to access. It is used by the community to log maintenance requests about the poor condition of footpaths or the need for streetlights to be fixed. It is recommended that the Canberra community do this via the fix my street website. What about those seniors who are not computer literate or do not have access to the internet? What alternative do they have?

This Labor government has continually put seniors last, time and time again, and they are getting tired of it. Canberra needs a government that will reassure ACT seniors, offer them basic local services and reduce the cost of living pressures placed on them.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video