Page 4824 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 27 November 2018

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government must do better in this space, and I invite them to work with me to avoid these kinds of mistakes going forward.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Mount Taylor—access and safety

Ministerial statement

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for City Services, Minister for Community Services and Facilities, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Roads) (11.46): I am pleased to update the Assembly on the commitment the government has shown regarding access to the popular Mount Taylor Nature Reserve. The number of people using Mount Taylor for recreation is continuing to increase, with the walking trail now attracting around 4,000 visitors per month.

It is fantastic to see so many people being active and making use of the nature reserve for recreational purposes. However, this has consequently seen an increase in the number of cars parking along Sulwood Drive, creating safety issues for road users. Providing safe and clearly designated areas for people to access the Mount Taylor recreation area was an important issue raised by the community. With up to 80 cars parked along Sulwood Drive next to Mount Taylor, upgrades to the verge are required to make sure that the area is safe and accessible for visitors and local residents.

The combination of the intersection of Mannheim Street and Sulwood Drive and the informal car park necessitates work to ensure safety for visitors and locals. In August 2017 I sponsored a petition in the Legislative Assembly on behalf of Canberra residents who requested traffic improvements around Mount Taylor. Following the petition and various requests from the community for improvements to parking and access provisions to the Mount Taylor Nature Reserve, representatives from the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate met on site with concerned residents in early 2018 to discuss their concerns and explore possible solutions. The feedback provided by local residents was valuable, and I particularly acknowledge Taryn Langdon, the principal petitioner, for her constructive feedback and advocacy which helped to inform the design of the traffic improvements.

Our government is aware that the walking trails accessing the summit of Mount Taylor attract a large number of visitors every week. Access to the nature reserve is available from a number of suburbs on its perimeter, but the car park at Sulwood Drive in particular is the major access point for people wishing to access the mountain.

In September I was thrilled to announce that the ACT government has committed $200,000 to convert part of the verge on Sulwood Drive into a car park, providing safer access for the many visitors to Mount Taylor. I am very pleased to report that works are now underway and include: a smooth, recycled asphalt surface that manages erosion and suppresses dust caused by the existing dirt surface; defined entry and exit points approximately 150 metres away from the intersection at Mannheim Street; new kerb barriers on the road’s edge to prevent vehicles entering and exiting the car park directly around Mannheim Street and the intersection.

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