Page 2868 - Week 08 - Thursday, 17 August 2017

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commitment, with $100,000 allocated to a new natural play space adjacent to the Giralang shopping centre site. This investment will deliver the design and construction of the play space and associated infrastructure.

Whilst the planning for the delivery of the project is in the early stages, Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) is excited about the partnerships that will deliver this project for the community. Previous projects which modelled government and community partnerships have been very successful.

Community consultation to inform the design and better target the requirements of the local community will be undertaken as part of the delivery of the project. The project will also involve working with students from the University of Canberra, who will deliver the conceptual plans for the new play space. The Giralang Primary School’s willingness to be involved in the process will be critical to the successful outcome for everyone involved.


Higgins playground facilities—petition 20-17

MRS KIKKERT (Ginninderra) (10.02), by leave: I have presented a petition signed by more than 200 Canberra residents in the Higgins area calling on the ACT government to provide adequate funding and services for the maintenance and upgrade of playgrounds in Higgins, namely the playgrounds located along Hudson Street and Westhoven Street. I receive many emails and phone calls from constituents regarding the quality of playgrounds in the Ginninderra electorate. I have also had the opportunity to personally meet a number of these people to discuss with them their concerns. More than half of all the complaints I have received concerning playgrounds relate to the current state of playgrounds in Higgins, and I have promised to bring this matter to the attention of the ACT government.

Higgins is a suburb in my electorate where many people choose to raise their families. It is a place where children under the age of 14 make up more than 20 per cent of the suburb’s population, and where families with children make up over 60 per cent of households. My constituents in Higgins and also in neighbouring suburbs call on the ACT government to recognise the importance of families having access to playgrounds that are well designed, functional and in good condition, in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment where children can go outdoors and be physically active and where families can spend time together and enjoy public amenities in their local neighbourhoods, which they dearly pay for in their rates.

This is not the case when playgrounds are not safe, do not look fun and are lacking in suitable amenities. For example, when local residents invited me to visit the Hudson Street playground in Higgins, it then featured a broken bubbler and a rusty, peeling swing set. Appalled, I wrote to Minister Fitzharris on behalf of my constituents on this matter. The minister responded only that replacing the broken bubbler at this playground would be considered at some point in the future. And then the broken bubbler was removed, perhaps to take away a clear and present reminder of this government’s neglect of both basic infrastructure and the families of Higgins.

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