Page 2923 - Week 08 - Thursday, 17 August 2017

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MS LAWDER: Minister, does increasing fire drills mean that you know the flammable panels are a high risk?

MS FITZHARRIS: No, it means we are taking every necessary precaution given that we have identified that five to 10 per cent of the panels on the facade of the hospital contain polyethylene panels.

Canberra—suburban renewal

MS CODY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, how is the government delivering on its commitment to improve the look and feel of our city?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Cody very much for the question. The government is getting on with delivering its commitments and its priority to improve the look and feel of our city. This year’s budget builds on previous budgets and includes funding for better road maintenance, safety in school zones, better playground and sporting facilities, better weed control and better graffiti management.

Our government also has established a better suburbs policy team to drive a strategic approach to the delivery of city services, helping to identify smarter ways to improve the livability of our city now and into the future.

Early next year, the government will be introducing a container deposit scheme in the territory to encourage more Canberrans to do the right thing with their used drink containers. Drink containers make up more than a quarter of the volume of all litter in the ACT, and this scheme will help protect the environment and improve the look and feel of our city.

We are also increasing weed control along arterial roads and on roundabouts, road medians and other high use suburban areas to improve the visual impact of the city and reduce the damage from overgrown weeds to kerb and gutter infrastructure. We will also increase mowing and weed control maintenance at the major entry roads into the ACT and Canberra Airport. We will increase tree pruning under power lines over the next year to not only improve the amenity of urban areas but also reduce fire risk.

More than $2.3 million has been provided, as well, for city services in our new suburbs, covering the maintenance of roads, paths and parkland as well as essential services such as waste and recycling collections.

The government invests significant resources each year in the delivery of Canberra city services. As we know, Canberra is growing, and with that comes greater demand for services, which means that the level and focus of the city services we deliver needs to change too.

I look forward next month to launching a better suburbs project with the intent of delivering a better suburbs statement for Canberra. This statement will send a clear vision for the improved delivery of city services in the ACT. (Time expired.)

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