Campaign Trail: Libs promise cycle network, walk-in centres queried, indoor sports in Tuggeranong

Dominic Giannini 15 September 2020 19
Election corflutes

Roadside corflutes can only mean one thing – it’s election time. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Roadside corflutes, bulging letterboxes and a flood of Facebook posts can only mean one thing – it’s election time.

The constant bombardment of proclamations and promises throughout the quadrennial display of democracy can be tiring, overwhelming and, quite frankly, frustrating. That’s why Region Media will be breaking down all the major policy announcements into bite-sized chunks to help you stay informed – but not deluged – with Campaign Trail.

Pedaling politics

Today’s (15 September) battleground is bike paths after the Canberra Liberals promised to make the ACT’s entire cycle path network road-free by 2030.

All town centres and major employment hubs will be connected with 100 km of dedicated, off-road cycle paths. A further $5 million will be allocated to improve cycling facilities at transport interchanges and other major stops, the Liberals said.

It will include increasing secure bicycle storage facilities and change rooms.

Initially, $500,000 will be spent on a feasibility study to consult with the community and determine where the bike paths should be built, but a total cost for the 100 km of paths has not been released.

Labor says it has already been building a multitude of new cycle paths across the Territory and invested tens of millions of dollars in cycle infrastructure across the city.

Transport Minister Chris Steel

Transport Minister Chris Steel says Canberra has a fantastic network of cycle paths. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

Transport Minister Chris Steel says one kilometre of bike path costs around $1 million and money needs to be spent on maintaining the current 3000 km of paths and building strategic links between city centres.

“Alistair Coe does not even know what cycle paths he wants to build and is only prepared to stump up $500,000 which is not going to build half a kilometre,” he said.

“We have a fantastic cycle path network in Canberra but there is a lot to do to improve it. Many of those links are off-road and we will continue to build new cycle paths where there are missing links.”

However, Mr Steel did not commit to creating a completely off-road cycle network by 2030.

The proposition has been welcomed by Pedal Power which has been calling for dedicated off-road cycleways.

READ ALSO: Path pressures: push for more data to improve network safety

Free health care and more walk-in centres

The Liberals came out swinging at Labor’s pledge to build five new walk-in health centres at South Tuggeranong, West Belconnen, the Inner South, Molonglo and North Gungahlin.

The centres will start to be built from 2021-22 and continue until the middle of the decade.

The Liberals called the announcement “a total flop” after the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said the plan was costly and failed to deliver optimal care.

“The Australian Medical Association’s public rebuke is very telling. It is vital that Canberra has a healthcare system that delivers optimal care for everyone,” the Liberals health spokesperson Vicki Dunne said.

“Labor’s commitment doesn’t help with our long elective surgery wait times, it doesn’t help with our emergency department wait times – they are still blowing out despite the nurse-led walkin centres we currently have.”

The Liberals also criticised the varying price points for the new centres.

Liberals’ Health Spokesperson, the out-going Vicki Dunne, has called the policy a “total flop” Photo: Region Media.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the plan would form part of Labor’s commitment to hire at least 400 new healthcare workers if they are re-elected.

“Nurse-led multidisciplinary teams will work closely with consumers, carers and general practitioners to help keep Canberrans out of hospital and take pressure off our emergency departments,” he said.

“A re-elected Labor team will work with local communities to ensure each local walkin health centre caters to the needs of our diverse regions and neighborhoods.”

Labor has also promised new services for older Canberrans at Calvary Public Hospital in Belconnen, including a Centre for Excellence in Caring for Older People and refurbishment of a new $13.6 million innovative acute medical ward.

READ MORE: Labor to build more walk-in centres, southside hydrotherapy pool

Sporting chance in the south

The Liberals have proposed a new $12.3 million indoor multi-purpose sports facility in Tuggeranong if they take government in October.

The centre will be built at the Calwell netball courts.

“Many sports communities have already expressed their interest in this new seven day a week, indoor sports facility,” Shadow Minister for Sport James Milligan said.

“This will be a great asset for Canberra’s community sports.”

Giants netball, ACT Netball

Canberra Giants defender Sam Poolman with a group of young netballers at the Tuggeranong netball courts at Calwell. Photo: Michael Weaver.

The announcement was welcomed by the Tuggeranong Netball Association where youth participation in the sport has grown 20 per cent since 2015, bringing around 2,500 players to the outdoor courts every Saturday.

“Not only is it a recognition of the importance of Tuggeranong to the ACT, but also represents the importance of a multi-sport venue encouraging an active lifestyle for people of all ages and abilities, in particular women and girls,” Tuggeranong Netball Association President Jonathan Toze said.

“This multi-sport facility is aimed at being the home ground for many different sports and clubs in the Tuggeranong Valley, many of whom have large membership but no venue in which to train appropriately.

“We will welcome these sports to call the Tuggeranong Sports Complex home and it will be geared to maximise whole of community participation.”

What's Your Opinion?

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19 Responses to Campaign Trail: Libs promise cycle network, walk-in centres queried, indoor sports in Tuggeranong
Michael McDonald Michael McDonald 3:14 pm 16 Sep 20

Hmm. Needs more corflute.

Angela Thomas Angela Thomas 8:24 am 16 Sep 20

That’s unusual, the only ones I’ve seen littering the major roads have been the Labor ones.

Emma Hannan Emma Hannan 7:53 am 16 Sep 20

Distraction on the road, and creating a hell of a lot of rubbish. Ban the signs

Ali Hart Ali Hart 6:48 am 16 Sep 20

There are many walk in centres, so we really need more?

    Vincent Nguyen Vincent Nguyen 10:23 am 16 Sep 20

    If there was another outreak of COVID-19 in Canberra. All of the walk in clinics would be packed.

Gabriel Spacca Gabriel Spacca 8:04 pm 15 Sep 20

Do we really need 10 pictures of the same candidate within a 5 metre area?

Lyn Christie Lyn Christie 7:52 pm 15 Sep 20

Still waiting to hear how they are paying for all their promises 🤷‍♀️

Merv Tetley Merv Tetley 7:18 pm 15 Sep 20

A total waste of taxpayers money 🤬🤬

Gay McGuire Gay McGuire 7:13 pm 15 Sep 20

They are probably still there from last time!

Chantell Hunt Chantell Hunt 6:42 pm 15 Sep 20

Shouldn’t be allowed

Lauryn Roberts Lauryn Roberts 6:12 pm 15 Sep 20

Should all just be banned the fact they can put stuff in our letter boxes should be enough. These signs do nothing!!!!

David Sutton David Sutton 5:59 pm 15 Sep 20

Some party needs to sort out the most expensive trailer and caravan rego in the country. No party will take this issue on as an election promise .

Mark Bowell Mark Bowell 5:56 pm 15 Sep 20

It’s a bloody joke how many they put around town

David Murn David Murn 5:39 pm 15 Sep 20

If that's how much litter they dump everywhere, it's no wonder they send their volunteers out after midnight to avoid abuse.

Donna Venables Donna Venables 5:37 pm 15 Sep 20

Indoor sports - M Powerdome?

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