Page 1622 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 July 2020

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MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Of course, Madam Speaker.

MS LAWDER: Minister, have senior staff debriefed with and individually offered support to any affected members of the WhatsApp group or did management just rely on the all-staff bulletin distributed when the story became public?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Lawder for the supplementary. Quite a lot of support has been provided to individuals both directly, by other individuals within the ACT Health Directorate, and through human resources elements of the different departments in which they now work.

Municipal services—infrastructure projects

MR GUPTA: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, can you please outline what local infrastructure and maintenance projects are being undertaken across the city?

MR STEEL: I thank Mr Gupta for his question and his interest in making sure that we are supporting economic recovery in Canberra during the pandemic. We are getting on with a significant pipeline of infrastructure projects right around Canberra, fast-tracking local projects and suburban maintenance to create jobs during this very challenging time in the history of Canberra. We are doing this not only to create jobs but to improve the look and feel of our city and public spaces.

During the first round of stimulus we have built over 50 footpaths across the city. It is very difficult to drive around Canberra without seeing one of these projects taking place. They are addressing many of the community priorities that have been raised with us, as well as some of the strategic missing links in our cyclepath network. We have refreshed an additional 30 playgrounds around the city, on top of the 20 within our regular maintenance program. One in 10 playgrounds across our city have received work over the last few months. This has included the installation of new seating and shade sails, the replacement of soft-fall mulch and the repainting of equipment.

Our second stimulus package also will help to improve the look and feel of our city, with local shopping centres refreshed around Canberra, with improved accessibility and amenity, seating and landscaping. We are boosting our investment in city maintenance activities like weeding, mulching around trees, street sweeping and cleaning of our gross pollutant traps around Canberra. We are hiring a new six-person weeding team which will help to weed at key locations around main roads, as well as signs, furniture and hard-to-reach locations like bollards.

I look forward to continuing to update the Assembly as we continue to make improvements around our city. These fast-tracked improvements have already created over a thousand jobs, and we will continue to invest in measures that support our economic recovery. (Time expired.)

MR GUPTA: Minister, which parts of Canberra will benefit from these upgrade projects?

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