Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 16 February 2017) . . Page.. 640 ..
function as best it can. We are here to look after people who cannot look after themselves. We are here to make certain that the rates burden on residents is fair. Well, that is the way we look at it over here anyway. We are here to create the environment that will allow enterprising people to be enterprising, to allow those who are establishing and building small businesses to do so without being strangled by red tape and various taxes. We are here to make the schools do what schools are supposed to do, to make the hospitals function better than they do right now, and to make sure that the roads and the footpaths are maintained.
We spent an hour and a half yesterday in a one-way conversation about LGBTIQ issues, focusing mainly on marriage equality which, as we all know, is not determined by this Assembly. The other side spent an hour and a half talking to themselves about marriage equality when people in the suburbs are actually grumbling about the state of their roads.
I know how important road maintenance is to the people of Tuggeranong. Let me tell you, Madam Deputy Speaker, I did not have to go to Tucson, Arizona, Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia to find that out. I did not have to gather a bunch of public servants and head off on a trip to North America. It did not cost anyone $70,000. All I had to do was walk the streets of Tuggeranong in the spring and knock on some doors. I knocked on 5,000 doors in the electorate that desperately wanted some change, and did I have some conversations about road maintenance.
Yes, Lloyd from Richardson, I listened to your concerns about Beattie Crescent. Yes, Sue and Nicholas, I heard your concerns about Lawrence Wackett at Theodore. Margie from Isabella Plains, as you know, we listened to you in regards to the Isabella Drive-Drumston avenue roundabout. I spoke to teenagers who had stopped riding their bikes on their own street because of the dastardly chip seal which had torn too many holes in their knees and elbows. I spoke to people in cul-de-sacs about the same chip seal and how it was not sufficiently compacted by the flow of traffic. I had hundreds of conversations about road maintenance—hundreds of people, Madam Deputy Speaker—and in that whole period I can tell you there were just four people who spoke to me about marriage equality. Their conversations were prefaced with a disclaimer, “I know it is a federal matter, but”. They knew more about the functions of this Assembly than those opposite. Is marriage equality an important issue? Yes, it is. Of course it is. It is very important. But there is a time and a place.
I note the summary of road maintenance provided by the minister earlier, and I know that it is not an easy job; it is a tough job. But I concur with all that my colleague Elizabeth Kikkert had to say earlier on this matter. Certainly the people who are speaking to us are saying that we must do better. Please, can we focus on the things that are actually important to the people in the suburbs, like road maintenance?
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (4.44): I am pleased to speak today on the importance of better road maintenance for Canberrans. I understand that road maintenance is something that the people of this territory feel very strongly about and our government will keep our city on the move with a quality road network. Better roads are a continued priority for our government to ensure the territory remains a livable city. This has been illustrated by major projects and improvements such as the