On 15 October 2017, the ninth Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory turned one.
This is certainly a milestone worthy of taking a deep breath and reflecting upon.
However in the context of the 2016 ACT election, it means much more than it might otherwise.
It means that in the ACT we have just completed 12 months of having elected representatives dedicated to the area of Yerrabi.
And in that sense, it is well worth looking back on what has been achieved for the people of the Gungahlin and north east Belconnen regions over the first year of this expanded Assembly.
We are getting on with investing in Yerrabi schools.
I have already spoken at length in this place about the ACT Budget delivering $85 million in upgrading and expanding classrooms.
Public school enrolments in the north of Canberra have grown by 53 per cent over the last five years.
The bulk of that has occurred in my electorate.
The investment the ACT Government is making in schools in Yerrabi will go a long towards providing a world class public education to the school children entering the second fastest growing region in the country.
We are investing in biodiversity.
The ACT Budget announced the expansion of the predator proof fence around Mulligans Flat.
The joint venture taking place behind these fences is reintroducing animals that haven’t been seen on the mainland in over fifty years, while also protecting the largest and most intact area of Yellow Box – Red Gum Grassy Woodland in Australia
All of this is taking place on the doorsteps of the suburbs of Forde and Throsby.
We’re improving our transport system for the people of Yerrabi.
Many of you would have been excited to see recently the laying of the first tracks of the Gungahlin to Civic light rail tracks.
This government is actively investing in public transport infrastructure to support an integrated transport solution that will take cars off the road, allowing a faster and safer commute for those who must or choose to drive.
We’re planning for a more user friendly town centre in Gungahlin.
The light rail terminal will be accompanied by a new share way along Hibberson St, allowing greater pedestrian access to businesses and the activation of existing public spaces.
And we’re are restoring faith in the way we engage with our communities.
I have been fortunate to be afforded a great deal of freedom to pilot an engagement program in delivering on an ACT Labor election commitment to develop a community park for the wonderful people of Giralang.
As part of this process we asked the community what they would like in their park, rather than asking whether they liked what we were proposing.
My team has been out door knocking and surveying local residents, and the feedback is currently being used by University of Canberra students to develop concepts for design of the park.
This will all come together at the end of this year when the Giralang community will be invited to a town hall to tell us if the concepts we have identified through this process reflect what the community wants from its park.
There has already been so much achieved for the people of Yerrabi and I am excited by the prospect of what else we can deliver for the community in the three years remaining in this term.