Page 1718 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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Motion to take note of petitions

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the response so lodged be noted.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (11.18): I thank the minister for his response to this petition, sponsored by Ms Le Couteur, on an issue that is very concerning to members of my electorate. The plan to pave Cooleman park is another example of Mr Steel’s and this government’s tin ear. The inability to discuss with and consider the views of local residents in my electorate is like the situation with the Curtin horse paddocks, just on a smaller scale. However, it is just as damaging.

The Save Coolo Park community group says in its introductory Facebook video:

The ACT government wants to put a car park on Coolo Park because people in Molonglo still don’t have their own shops. Coolo Park will be levelled, covered in bitumen and mature trees will be removed. Coolo Park is filled with native trees that are critical to local biodiversity, urban cooling and community wellbeing. Coolo Park is a community asset that provides a safe path to the shops and buses.

And, I would add, for at least two suburbs of people who I have been speaking to on the phone of late. The group goes on to say:

Your local park or oval or playground could be next.

They say that we should stop this type of urban infill in Canberra. The biggest issue for Cooleman Court is the lack of a supermarket—a proper sized supermarket—for the Molonglo Valley.

One of the worst aspects of this plan is the fact that the minister has referred to it as temporary. There is nothing temporary about removing mature trees, scraping down and flattening what is now a contoured nature park. Once it is gone, it will never come back. That is the disgraceful lie at the heart of this plan.

Let us not pave every inch of our local natural area to put up a parking lot. Let us stand up for Stirling, Waramanga, in particular, and Fisher residents, who walk and cycle along the path. Let us keep this little piece of calm in a very busy shopping precinct and address the real problem, which is that the whole of the Molonglo Valley currently comes to shop in Weston Creek.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (11.21): I must say that I basically agree with everything my fellow member for Murrumbidgee, Mrs Jones, has just said. As the petition which I was fortunate enough to table in this Assembly showed, so do an awful lot of the people of Murrumbidgee.

Another thing that I would like to point out is that recently, as a result of a motion of mine, the government did an independent review of the development of Molonglo.

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