Page 2226 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017

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Environment and Transport and City Services—Standing Committee


MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (10.56): pursuant to standing order 99, I move:

That the petitions requesting that the Assembly allocate resources to develop a strategic plan to enhance community facilities in Farrer be referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Transport and City Services for inquiry and report.

These two petitions call for a strategic plan for enhanced community facilities in Farrer, including a playground and other community infrastructure. Earlier this year, in June, the community came together at Fox and Bow to discuss advocacy around community facilities and a playground for the Farrer shops. It was a very constructive discussion, and it was great to see the community come together to support this issue with their enthusiasm and ideas. They decided a petition was a good start, and I was happy to sponsor the e-petition and the hard copy petition.

The principal petitioner, Rollo Brett, who is in the gallery, has worked tirelessly with the community and has helped accumulate over 500 signatures overall across the two petitions. The community has also developed an initial proposal to government about what they would like to see for the Farrer shops.

According to the 2016 census there were 3,231 people in Farrer, with children zero to 14 years of age making up 18.3 per cent of the population. There are many families and children living in Farrer, and while there is a single swing at the shops, families would like to see an improved community space. According to the Australian early development census released in March last year, children in the ACT are more likely to be vulnerable in the area of physical health and wellbeing, which includes growth and fine motor skill development, and 9.8 per cent of Farrer children were developmentally vulnerable in that domain, which is higher than the Woden average and the national average.

Quality play spaces are crucial to encourage children’s physical growth and fine motor skill development, and they allow families to come together in a safe and inviting space to socialise while activating this important community focal point. I would like to extend my thanks to Rollo for his work in advocating with the community for this playground to improve community facilities in Farrer. I would also like to extend my thanks to Alex Piris, the owner of Fox and Bow, for hosting the June meeting at his cafe in the Farrer community. It was his original idea to advocate for better community infrastructure in the area.

The hard copy and e-petitions have garnered over 500 overall signatures, and it has been great to see such genuine support build around this issue. However, because one of the petitions has not by itself reached 500 petition signatures, they will not be automatically referred to the committee for environment, transport and city services. This is only because the two petitions, which are almost identical in wording, cannot

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