Page 5359 - Week 14 - Thursday, 30 November 2017

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Playgrounds give mothers and families the opportunity to play with their children. They give the parent or carer time to themselves, to unwind or to socialise with other members of the community. Having an attractive and fun local playground is so important and valuable to families. A better playground has wider benefits to the community as well. With more people in the area using the playground, small businesses like those at the Torrens shops are likely to benefit. As we all know, having strong and sustainable local shops is really important for communities. In our increasingly busy lives, taking time to spend quality time together is a top priority for families and communities.

I recognise the difficulty associated with deciding where the government allocates its funding; therefore I would like to reiterate a solution I have long advocated for. If the government were to allow communities to fundraise for equipment from a set list which the government could install and maintain then the cost to the taxpayer could be lower. This funding mechanism rewards strong communities with motivated residents working together, and I urge the government to give appropriate consideration to this.

Once again I thank Natalia and the Torrens community for their petition, and I urge the government to take their views seriously and to upgrade the playground. I thank members of the Greens and Labor who have supported this petition as well.

Torrens shops playground—petition 31-17

Red Hill natural environment—petitions 28-17 and 29-17

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.08), by leave: I will start first with Torrens, and I basically have to agree with everything Mrs Jones has said—

Mrs Jones: There you go.

Mrs Dunne: Well, it is almost Christmas.

MS LE COUTEUR: as I would any day about this important subject. It is a particularly important subject for the people of Murrumbidgee, because I will note that, as well as Torrens, there are active movements in Farrer and Waramanga, all seeking additional playground facilities at or near their shops. This points to the need for a better playground policy for the government and also a better method of budgeting.

Members may recall that earlier this year we passed a motion about participatory budgeting and doing a trial of this as part of the city services budget. One of the reasons for that is the growth in demand for city services which we have no real way of working out how best to resolve.

Like Mrs Jones, I think playgrounds are really important. They are good for our kids and good for social capital as a whole. I would also say that, for Torrens in particular, while clearly I support what the petition is talking about—an upgraded playground—the other thing that would help in the very short run is putting back a gap in the wall

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