Page 1571 - Week 06 - Thursday, 2 July 2020

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That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Municipal services—maintenance

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (6.33): It is with complete and utter frustration that I come into the Assembly today to complain about the lack of service provided by city services and disability services to a disability house where I have been advocating for the removal of trip hazards.

This issue first arose on 4 February. A constituent wrote to me to say that they had made complaints about a disability house in Hughes which is operated by L’Arche. It is a new building. Four disabled women live there, with the support of care workers. Two of the people in this house are in wheelchairs and the other two have mobility issues. The constituent, who is the parent of one of these women, contacted me because they were sick to death of trying to get a number of trip hazards between the street and the front door of the house fixed.

I went out and visited, and I discovered that, alongside the L’Arche house, there are two driveways to battleaxe blocks behind this house so that there are in fact three driveways, all of which were built at different times and with different materials. In fact, with the public land, the easements onto these driveways were broken and there were a whole lot of problems. In addition, there were multiple materials—broken concrete of different ages, concrete of different aggregate mixes, bitumen and gravel—put together, with lots of discontinuity.

I thought that the best thing to do would be to write to the minister. On 4 February, after visiting the site myself, I provided the minister with photographs, and I made a suggestion to him. I said that it was quite clear that there were multiple people responsible for it—L’Arche, Disability ACT, possibly Housing, city services, all of these people—and could they perhaps get together and solve the trip hazards for these four women, their carers and their parents. The parents of these women were quite concerned about the trip hazards. As I said there were multiple uneven surfaces, and multiple surface treatments—gravel, concrete and bitumen. There were dangerous, unmarked, raised lip areas. As you come out of the garage of the house, there is a discontinuity, a place wide enough for someone to step down. If you had a disability, you might fall down and break your ankle as you came out of the garage. I suggested that we needed a continuous concrete apron.

After many chasings up, and backwards and forwards with L’Arche, I got an undated letter from the minister. He thanked me for my letter of 14 February; in fact it was 4 February. The undated letter, I think, came on about 12 May. It said, “We’re looking at it; we’ll do some work and it should be completed by the end of March.” I then wrote to my constituent and said, “Here it is. Has it been fixed?” He wrote back and said:

Thank you. We have been waiting to see how the repairs would finish up. Now that we know that the job is finished, we want to express our disappointment. You can see a severe trip hazard still exists.

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