Page 4037 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Making sure that footpaths are even, roads are smooth, streets are swept and grass is mown is not glamorous but these municipal services are the bread and butter of ACT government. As Minister Fitzharris has said countless times before, everyone in Canberra is touched by the work that TCCS does. And as Canberra grows, maintenance work will increase and it is absolutely crucial that we engage broadly to stay abreast of community priorities.
However, today I would like to take a moment to appreciate the wealth of information that TCCS provides online about maintenance works around town—where it is happening, how it happens, why it happens that way, and everything you have ever wondered about what it takes to keep a city looking so damn fine. With a whole city to keep looking spick ‘n’ span, staying on top of the maintenance load is a matter of setting priorities and effective scheduling. Understandably, people often want to know when work is going to be undertaken around their home. Often simply knowing that the work has been scheduled is enough. Nothing is worse than thinking that your street has been overlooked or forgotten.
To help improve accessibility and keep Canberrans updated about the services that are important to them, the government maintains comprehensive resources, tracking when these services occur and on what basis these services are prioritised. There are lists about when footpaths and roads are due to be resurfaced or grass is mown. There are lists about street sweeping. And there are even interactive maps where members of the public can submit photos of spring and autumn leaves to view. These TCCS registers are really useful and interesting, admittedly in a nerdy sort of way, but a lot of people do not know about them or how they can contribute to these repositories of information. And, indeed, rather than deputising citizens, the government is providing information to its constituents.
The government regularly resurfaces roads to maintain safety and help extend the life of the road. I have had contact from several constituents wanting to know when roads in their area will be resealed. They may have particular concerns about a specific road or they might just be curious so that they can factor the roadworks into their daily plans. The good news is that TCCS provides the community with both an annual and a daily road resealing schedule online. There is also a link to fix my street so that people can report roads that may need more urgent attention. You can also find fact sheets about the road resealing program, how a road is chosen for resealing and how it is resealed. I cannot say that the science of road resealing ever took my fancy before, but, having now done an inquiry into road maintenance and viewing this information, it is actually genuinely interesting to read about how roads are resealed and about new innovations in this space, such as the use of printer cartridges in road resealing.
The road safety improvement program also produces a register which ranks the safety of roads and intersections. The report comes out annually and is available online. It lists what investigations have been recently completed and what measures have been implemented to improve safety for the top 10 problematic intersections and streets. You can also search any road to find out its current ranking.