Page 1696 - Week 06 - Thursday, 23 July 2020

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20 households in Macrossan Crescent are within these guidelines. The remainder—more than 100 households in this street and the surrounding area—fall well outside these guidelines. By ignoring its own code, this government has failed these residents.

This week, the government had the opportunity to do the right thing and re-establish a bus service for these households. It did not. On behalf of my constituents in Latham, I once again call upon those opposite to restore the previous level of service by allowing the number 40 bus to take a few extra minutes—that is all it takes—to travel down Macrossan Crescent.


MR GUPTA (Yerrabi) (6.18): Today marks a year since I was confirmed as a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and it has easily been the most rewarding year of my life. I ran for the Legislative Assembly in 2016 because I believed that something that many of us are yearning for is a return to a tight-knit community where neighbours know each other and take care of one another. This need for community has only been further highlighted by the challenges we, as a territory, a state and a nation, have faced over the past year; but the way Canberrans have come together to care for each other has been one of the highlights.

During my time as a member I have been working hard to strengthen Gungahlin as a community. For me, a strong community is one that cares for its vulnerable members, one that provides excellent education, from early learning to tertiary education and beyond, and one where everyone can access the health care that they need without worrying about cost. It is a place with vibrant community spaces that allow us to come together, whether that be indoors or out. It is somewhere with a strong economy, strong business prospects, so that young people can get jobs close to home.

However, just as they say it takes a village to raise a child, I believe that strong community needs strong connection, where everyone can share ideas. When I joined the parliament, I set out to talk to as many of my constituents as I could. It is all very well to bring in my own ideas for a strong community, but true progress comes from collaboration.

Over the last year my team and I have knocked on almost 5,000 doors and called almost 16,000 phones. We have spoken to constituents about a host of issues, from the simple joy of a walk in the park to the challenges that our economy faces in a post-COVID world. By combining my own ideas with those of my constituents, I have been able to get a clear idea of what my community needs. That has been my guide map for the past year.

It seems like a lifetime ago now, but this summer’s bushfires threw into stark relief the need for effective climate management in Australia, which is something that I have felt strongly about for many years. In November I moved a motion calling on the government to ensure that we continue to prioritise water security for the territory as, even without the recent bushfire, access to fresh water is a challenge that will only continue to grow.

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