Page 3463 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 22 August 2018

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absolutely necessary at a shopping centre that lacks toilets, no matter how new and shiny the play equipment may be.

On behalf of the cafe owner at one local shopping centre, last year I requested that this government provide a shade sail or other shade structure to improve the enjoyment of not only cafe patrons but those who purchase from the other eateries in the area. The minister’s response was, in a word, no. I have also written to this government on behalf of Canberra residents who have concerns about a car park at their local shops. This U-shaped car park located near an early childhood centre allows for traffic to travel in both directions, but the lane is very narrow, making this quite difficult.

The obvious solution, according to frequent users who really understand the situation, is to alter the traffic flow to one way—a simple, affordable and informed request from residents to their current government. In response Minister Fitzharris said that directing traffic in a one-way loop was certainly feasible but, again, the answer was no. Apparently this government think that they better understand the situation than those who daily use the car park.

In addition, on behalf of residents in my electorate I have asked for simple enhancements to an existing toilet block, as well as an upgrade to the bill poster silo at another local shopping centre. In each case the response from Minister Fitzharris has been no.

In light of their pride in their local shops, Canberrans often wonder why their current government appears not to share that pride. This motion seeks to address this sense of neglect. I join with Ms Lee in calling on the ACT government to establish and publish a schedule of regular maintenance of local shops and report on the budget allocation for such maintenance by the end of the sitting period in October.

MS LEE (Kurrajong) (4.47): I thank Ms Lawder and Mrs Kikkert for their support and for taking the time to highlight some of the maintenance issues they see in the local shops in their electorates. Regarding Ms Le Couteur, I do not even know whether she was listening at all or perhaps she has selective hearing, but she has accused me of portraying our local shops as derelict and crime ridden and slum-like. I ask Ms Le Couteur, before she goes out to the community to misrepresent m, to actually read in Hansard what I said about our local shops.

I have said very clearly—and I say it again, mostly for her benefit, although I note she is no longer in the chamber—that our local shops are great community hubs and local residents have done amazing things at them to bring the community together. But when it comes to the “calls upon” section in my motion we get served up once again another Caroline Le Couteur special: the “I agree but I’m not going to vote for you.” I do not know why that should come as any surprise, given that that is the MO.

The minister, in her response, slammed our party—“the party of business” she called us—for asking government, not business, to do something. Clearly she also was not paying much attention to what I was saying, so I will repeat word for word what I said in my speech earlier: individual shopkeepers and landlords who own the shops have a responsibility and an incentive to make sure their shops are the best they can be.

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