Page 634 - Week 02 - Thursday, 16 February 2017

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Additional policy issues were also raised for further consideration. For example, the task force has proposed that the government explore the introduction of integrated birth certificates in the ACT. This concept recognises both the birth parents and adoptive parents on the birth certificate of a person who has been adopted. Other jurisdictions have implemented this measure, and the government will consider the proposal in developing its response to the task force report.

In conclusion, the ACT government is committed to improving children’s access to timely, stable and permanent care arrangements, and adoption is one of a number of permanency options available. We will continue to reform our processes and to drive positive and timely change to the domestic adoption process. I would like to thank the many contributors to the task force, particularly those who took the time to reflect on their own experiences of the domestic adoption process. I commend the review of the domestic adoption processes in the ACT to the Assembly.

Road maintenance

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Madam Speaker has received letters from Ms Cheyne, Ms Cody, Mr Coe, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Mrs Kikkert, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Lee, Mr Milligan, Ms Orr, Mr Parton, Mr Pettersson, Mr Steel and Mr Wall proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Madam Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Kikkert be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of better road maintenance to Canberrans.

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (4.19): I am delighted to bring this matter of public importance in my name to the Assembly today. The ACT government’s role is to provide excellent local services to the people they represent and were elected to serve, and road maintenance is an important part of these local services.

It is certainly a matter of public importance to Canberrans. I spoke with many thousands of people as I was campaigning last year, and the poor quality of the ACT’s roads and associated infrastructure was easily the most common complaint that I heard; and for good reason. As road maintenance experts Sally Burningham and Natalya Stankevich have noted, firstly, roads make a vital contribution to economic and social development, uniting communities and providing access to employment and social, health and educational services. Secondly, over time, all road infrastructure ages, and, because of this, roads require regular maintenance and renewal before they reach a stage of significant deterioration. Thirdly, regular road maintenance not only preserves current assets but also lowers future costs for citizens, road users and ratepayers. Fourthly, the condition of road surfaces is an important factor in transport safety. In addition, the condition and quality of our roads contribute to the image of the national capital and the perceptions of visitors to Canberra.

With these points in mind, it would seem that the residents of Canberra who have spoken to me both before and after last year’s election often have a clearer

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