Media release: 29 June 2008: Save our Green Spaces say Democrats – Legislative Assembly must clean up its ACT

Darren Churchill – ACT Democrats

Save our Green Spaces say Democrats – Legislative Assembly must clean up its ACT

The Stanhope government is neglecting community sporting facilities says ACT Democrats President, Darren Churchill.

“The poor and deteriorating condition of sports grounds across the ACT is painfully obvious to users of these public spaces.” said Mr Churchill. “The Government waves away such concerns as simply a result of drought. Yet they are not doing nearly enough to manage these grounds in the best way possible.”

“Parents with families involved in junior sport will know – and many parents also play recreational sport themselves in – Canberra fields are now verging on dangerous. The Government must allocate more resources to field maintenance. Priorities include filling in holes, seasonal restoration of bare areas of dirt, and fixing of faulty sprinkler heads and water pipes.”

Mr Churchill inspected local playing fields and spoke with some locals over the weekend.

“The situation in Kaleen and Giralang is appalling. But other parts of Belconnen and Gungahlin are no better.” declared Mr Churchill. “People have told me of sporting fixtures being moved to the grounds of private schools. If the private schools can maintain their fields, why can’t the government maintain community fields?

“Rangers need to patrol more frequently in order to alert us to damage to grounds caused by vehicles, litter, and vandalism of sports pavilions. The community is also at risk of falling prey to discarded and dangerous objects such as sharps and broken glass.”

“Community owned facilities must be maintained at quality levels, regardless of the sporting level of the hirer. But they have been let go and now some serious restoration work is needed. Surely greywater and captured runoff could be used for watering and some basic maintenance undertaken?” queried Mr Churchill

“These problems go beyond designated sports fields. Public open space and green corridors are also crucial to our lifestyle and the vitality of our city. It is distressing to see open space and parkland – including those with children’s playgrounds – succumbing to litter, broken glass and weed growth. And it’s so unnecessary” stated Mr Churchill

“Many such areas are an eyesore where they adjoin cycle paths and walkways. Much open public space is no longer ‘green’ – not only because of drought but because such areas no longer provide a clean and safe environment for walking in and around our suburbs.”

It is time for the Government and the Assembly to clean up its act – clean up the ACT!” Mr Churchill emphatically concluded.

Darren Churchill
ACT Democrats President
Tel: 0412 196 473

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