The ACT Government has allocated $1.65 million to improve footpaths across six of Canberra’s oldest suburbs, as part of a vision to improve footpath accessibility and connectivity across the territory.
Narrabundah, Isabella Plains, Stirling, Campbell, Aranda and Holt are the newest suburbs to receive funding to upgrade and install new paths to improve the network.
The ACT Government said it chose to improve path network infrastructure and connectivity in these suburbs due to the older demographic of residents aged over 55 years, and because the suburbs are home to aged care and retirement facilities.
The upgrades, which are part of the Government’s Age-Friendly Suburbs Program, include pram ramps for parents and older Canberrans using mobility scooters, completions for connective paths to green space and shopping centres and pedestrian refuge areas.
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The program has been underway since the 2015-16 financial year and is funded until 2021, with Weston, Ainslie, Monash, Kaleen, Page and Hughes receiving upgrades in the past few years.
ACT Minister for City Services Chris Steel said the funding supports the Government’s commitment to ensuring Canberra remains an age-friendly city that is accessible and inclusive of all people at all stages of their lives.
He said the ACT Government is committed to supporting and enabling a healthy community environment that is accessible and inclusive of people at all stages of their lives, in particular, older residents.
“Putting the focus on infrastructure that encourages physical activity and improves the wellbeing of our older population also benefits the community as a whole,” Mr Steel said. “These improvements will encourage everyone to stay healthy and active.
“Existing suburbs that were gazetted in the 1920s have ramps that are too steep since the standards have changed around footpath infrastructure.
“The universal design principles are good for all people and improves accessibility for people with a disability, young people and children in prams as well.”
ACT Minister for Seniors Gordon Ramsay stated Canberra has more seniors than at any other time in the city’s history, highlighting the importance of the improved infrastructure.
“Feedback from the Age-Friendly City Survey in 2018 told us that safe walkways are important to support the active participation of senior Canberrans,” he said. “That is why the Age-Friendly Suburbs Program and its associated improvements are so important.
“In 1950, Canberra was home to fewer than 20,000 people, and now the city is preparing for a population of more than 500,000 by 2030.
“According to 2016 Census data, 12.5 per cent of Canberrans are aged 65 years and over. This is about 50,000 people – and this number will continue to grow.”
The community is invited to provide feedback on the proposed improvements for suburbs by visiting the following pop-up sessions, with upgrades expected to be completed next year:
Monday 13 May 2019
9:30 am to 11:30 am at Trenerry Square, near Cooleman Court, Weston
Tuesday 14 May 2019
Isabella Plains pop-up
9:30 am to 11:30 am at Shops off Galloway Street
Wednesday 15 May 2019
9:30 am to 11:30 am at Shops on Iluka Street
Thursday 16 May 2019
9:30 am to 11:30 am at Woolworths entrance at Kippax
Friday 17 May 2019
9:30 am to 11:30 am at Shops on Blamey Place
For more information on the Age-Friendly Suburbs Program visit YourSay or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.