24 July 2020

Gungahlin's strong community deserves less rubbish on the streets

| James Milligan MLA
Join the conversation

Gungahlin has plenty of community pride, but why is there so much rubbish? Photo: Region Media.

Growing up in Yarrawonga in regional Victoria, I remember fondly the strong sense of community that the town had and how tight knit the people were.

My parents ran a small restaurant and so I grew up serving tables, washing dishes and meeting everyone who came through the door – tourists and locals alike.

Attending the local school, hanging out with friends on the Murray River where everyone would go to relax and soak up the fresh air, I loved my childhood and always had such a strong sense of community and pride in my town.

Flash forward and I’m now living in Gungahlin with a family of my own. I still believe strongly in having pride in your home and your community.

I see so much of it in my own neighbourhood: the local cafes bustling with locals catching up on their way to drop off kids or going to work, neighbourhood libraries and food pantries, community gardens and groups like the Mow Bonner Collective that run regular clean ups and verge maintenance sessions.

As well as this strong community spirit, Gungahlin is surrounded by some fantastic landscapes and environment. Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, Franklin and Mulanggari Grasslands, One Tree Hill and the areas around Hall, and the hills behind Gungahlin leading into New South Wales. There are truly some great spots that enhance the community spirit.

Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping in Gungahlin lets the community down, says James Milligan. Photo: Supplied.

While Gungahlin residents overwhelmingly take pride in our community, there are sadly a rare few who do not do the right thing in preserving our region and keeping our suburbs clean.

Illegal dumping and littering is happening every day in our suburbs. There are vacant blocks with household rubbish dumped on a regular basis, construction rubbish and loose litter, rubbish in parks, around bins and at the back of local shops and, of course, dumped and torched cars on the sides of roads.

It is because of the actions of the odd few that the community at large suffers and are tasked with cleaning up the mess.

I continue to hear from residents who are increasingly disappointed that litter and illegal dumping is largely overlooked by the Labor Government.

Waiting months for rubbish to be cleaned up, and weeks for burnt out cars abandoned on the side of roads to be cleared away is simply not good enough.

It shouldn’t be this way.

Gungahlin residents are paying some the highest taxes in Canberra while local businesses are being taxed more than ever. The community rightly expects, and indeed is paying for the ACT Government to deliver basic government services, such as cleaning up suburbs and tackling illegal dumping. Gungahlin residents want and deserve a government that genuinely cares about where people live and wants to foster pride in our neighbourhoods.

The Canberra Liberals want to make Gungahlin the best place to live, work and raise a family. We are committed to bringing the focus back to the things that matter – reducing cost-of-living pressures and delivering the services that families rely on.

That’s why a Canberra Liberals government will provide free bulky waste collections twice a year to give residents a free, easy way to dispose of old furniture and goods.

It’s about delivering real and practical solutions to make life easier for Canberrans and to help more families get ahead. Our commitment to make reporting of and responding to illegal dumping easier will ensure residents aren’t left waiting weeks and months on end for rubbish to be cleared away.

We all have a choice when it comes to making a difference. Labor is simply too tired and has lost focus on the things that matter to local communities and families.

It starts with delivering real and practical solutions to make Gungahlin the best place to live, work and raise a family.

James Milligan is a Liberal Member for Yerrabi in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Bulky waste collection is all well and good but how are you Canberra Liberals going to fund it when you plan to freeze rates for 4 years without telling voters how the freeze is to be funded? Will it be cuts to Health, Education, infrastructure, public housing, transport? The election is in October and we still haven’t seen any policy from you Canberra Liberals. I won’t be holding my breath

I’m guessing that the littere are the very same people that you hoped to represent in government

I think the illegal fly-tipping or dumping is an issue of both the lack of affordable or convenient rubbish collection and disposal options, and the culture of dumping that had been propelled by charity bins instead of charity shopfront business hours collections and charity collection visitations. The mismanagement of charity collection is also inefficient for the charities that have to spend time and resources in sorting through the rubbish. It’s not only happening in the Gungahlin district either as fly-tipping and dumping has been happening in other parts of Canberra and rural ACT too.

James, I have lived in Gungahlin since 2006 and have watched with dismay the increase in illegal dumping and general littering in our suburbs. We live on a corner block with some public land next to us, and we have had items dumped on this land so many times over the past 14 years that I have lost count; furniture mainly, car parts, general household rubbish, clothing, food packages, you name it. And on 99% of these occasions I have ended up disposing of the dumped items, as there seems to be very few people or government departments interested in maintaining the cleanliness of our streets.

Even more concerning is the increased number of cars parking illegally on verges and footpaths, as well as legally on streets for days and weeks on end, because there is insufficient parking available for all of the residents of our apartments and units.

I do not know what the solutions are, but thank you for highlighting this very real problem.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.