Page 2064 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 7 June 2017
Giralang community park
MS ORR (Yerrabi) (6.40): At our last sitting I had the privilege of sponsoring two petitions from over 180 Canberrans. The petitioners called for the ACT government to fund in the 2017-18 budget a 2016 election commitment for Giralang community park. The Giralang community showed their support for this park, as I have mentioned before in the chamber, and their strong desire to be included in decision-making for their suburb.
Yesterday I was thrilled to confirm that the Labor government had listened to Giralang and committed the funding for the park in this year’s budget. I am proud to represent Giralang, and would like to thank residents for their trust and willingness to get on board, and participate in politics. I have certainly received a few puzzled looks and remarks about the need to run a petition, as a member of the government, and I would like to clarify, as a backbencher, that I am not privy to budget decisions, but I do have extra opportunity to be out in the electorate and work with the community. I very much went forward with the philosophy that we are stronger when we work together.
I would also like to thank the ACT government for their responsiveness. This is a great way to be encouraging more nature into our suburbs. It is important we do this as the natural environment has a great capacity to enrich the built environment of our city. Integration between these two elements can be done through well-considered planning and engagement with the community.
Giralang is a Radburn suburb, one that was designed for community use, for the environment and for pedestrians. The footpaths in Giralang, like many Belconnen suburbs, lead to a central point where the community can come together. In Giralang, this central area is currently home to the Giralang Primary School, the preschool and the Chabad centre, with the community centre and playing fields nearby. This park provides a focal point at the heart of Giralang for everyone to come together. Parks provide a recreation space for everyone, for kids to play and for adults to get together and have a chat.
I am a firm believer in community engagement, and the speciﬁc elements of the park should, in my opinion, be based on what the community wants, which is why in the coming months I plan to engage the Giralang community very closely to get their perspective on options for their park. This park should be flexible to the community’s needs, and take the surrounding area into account. I have already had many ideas put to me over the last few months from residents, including for a fire pole, which we will investigate, and other things that local groups want to see in the space so that it reaches its full potential. I hope this space will serve as a demonstration of what we can achieve through community engagement, and I look forward to working further with the Giralang community to develop a plan for their park.