Page 2019 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2017

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Not only have I had a great doctor supporting me, but I have also been lucky enough to live in a city with a government that provides facilities and urban planning to be fit and healthy. This government has made a $4.7 million commitment to design and construct a bikeway in Belconnen, linking the University of Canberra, Radford College, the Canberra Institute of Technology Bruce campus and the GIO Stadium with the Belconnen town centre. This bikeway will connect with existing community paths and the new cyclepath established as part of the Aikman Drive duplication, while providing a separated cycle route along Benjamin Way.

This government is investing $250,000 in the 2017-18 budget to undertake a feasibility study, consultation and preliminary designs for the Belconnen bikeway project. The project will also investigate the potential utilisation of the disused bus-only section of Joynton Smith Drive in order to provide increased penetration and linkage to the west of the Belconnen town centre to suburbs like Page and Florey.

Staying fit and healthy is not something this government leaves to the public service, though. As many of you may be aware, Mr Pettersson and I raced against each other in the half marathon as part of the Australian Running Festival. This was my first run over this distance. Mr Pettersson, on the other hand, had been a keen runner all through university and had even competed in marathon distance races. Whilst he is off sick today, Mr Pettersson is normally a rather fit and healthy looking young man. Both of us undertook to run some 21 plus kilometres to raise much-needed funds for charity but also because it is really important in our roles as representatives of our community to be as fit and active as we can be to ensure it positively impacts on our health. As it turns out, working to stay fit and active is a great way to stay healthy, but it is also a great way to run a half marathon. Just in case members of the chamber were unaware, I not only completed my very first half marathon in a respectable time of two hours and 24 minutes, but I also beat Mr Pettersson by nearly 20 minutes. But obviously being fit and active is my main objective in this statement.

With my remaining few minutes, I take this opportunity to acknowledge the dedicated and hardworking doctors, nurses and other health professionals working in our hospitals and community health facilities to provide quality health care that our community can rely upon. We will continue to work with the clinical workforce, private service providers and non-government service providers and organisations to deliver the best healthcare system for our community.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.28): I welcome the opportunity to speak on the health portfolio this afternoon. It is a very strong priority of the Canberra Liberals, and this was clearly the case during the last election. While I welcome the opportunity to speak on the health portfolio, I think that Ms Cody’s motion, which is somewhat to be expected on the day after a budget, is nothing more than a self-congratulatory pat on the back for the Labor Party. As with all of these things with the Labor Party, the Labor Party likes to obtain virtue from spending other people’s money. Ms Cody bore that out today.

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