RiotACT – Kim Fischer

Benefits of expanding the Assembly

The 2016 Legislative Assembly will be a really positive turning point for the Territory, with its expansion to 25 members and 5 electorates. I am genuinely excited to see the results:

I have to admit I find it baffling and frustrating that nearly 30 years on, people are still hoping for a return to the days of the NCDC when we had no democratic representation on decision-making. The rivers of gold from the Federal Government were going away anyway. At least under self-government we have the ability to vote for people who can represent our hopes and desires for Canberra.

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Fairer Federal representation for the ACT

I discuss a topic I have been passionate about for more than 10 years – fairer representation for the ACT in the Federal Parliament:

The ACT does not have any [guarantees to representation] in the Constitution (like all other Territories including the Northern Territory, Christmas Island, and Norfolk Island). For years, Territories have been under-represented despite the implicit constitutional goal of providing all States and Territories with fair rights to representation.

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More to do on affordable housing

In my latest RiotACT article, I discuss some of the things being done by the ACT government to improve the status of affordable housing, and what more can be done:

The ACT government is ahead of the game in implementing the majority of the changes recommended by the 2015 Federal Government Senate Committee on housing affordability: reducing stamp duty, implementing shared equity schemes and land rent schemes, and supporting increases in community housing programs.

We can always do more. With high office vacancy rates in Canberra at the moment, the ACT Property Council has pointed out that other capital cities convert lower-grade office space into “apartments, hotels, and senior’s housing developments” …

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Understanding bad online behaviour

In my latest RiotACT article, I discuss why some people feel they can say things on the Internet that they wouldn’t say in person:

After the fact, many people claim that the posts were “just a joke” or “taken out of context” or even that “someone hacked my computer”. While not excusing their behaviour, they may have been subject to what the US psychologist Dr John Suler calls the online disinhibition effect.

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Why Sunday penalty rates should stay

Penalty rates have been a feature of Australian life for over 100 years. In my latest RiotACT article, I look at the case for keeping Sunday penalty rates:

Even though Sunday working participation rates have more than doubled, still only 20% of currently employed working age people work on a Sunday compared with 80% on weekdays … working on Sundays reduces family leisure time by over two hours, inclusive of reduced parents’ time with their children and reduces leisure time in the company of friends by an hour and a half.

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The ancient art of shopping

In this week’s RiotACT article I talk about the different experiences of shopping in a mall versus a local shop:

Local shops [are] important too, encouraging greater physical activity for nearby residents and providing a sense of community and “place” that is simply missing from our globalised and homogenous shopping centres. People may be able to find a recognisable McDonalds store anywhere in the world, but the experience of visiting Little Oink in Cook or the local hairdressers in Florey is both unique and personal.

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UC sub-acute hospital to deliver super service

The new UC hospital opening in 2018 is a sub-acute hospital which will provide responsive, flexible and holistic care for patients with long term, complex care needs:

Sub-acute facilities are a comparatively new innovation but are vital for a well-functioning hospital system since they free up capacity in acute facilities. They are not “second class hospitals”, but facilities that are optimised to deliver long-term rehabilitation and care for conditions that are not life-threatening.

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Lathlain now – For a better Belconnen

I’m excited by the town centre master plan proposal to transform Lathlain St in Belconnen into an eclectic mix of shops in a pedestrian-friendly environment where people can feel safe at all hours of the day:

One of the most audacious features of the proposed Belconnen Town Centre Master Plan is to transform Lathlain Street into a pedestrian friendly promenade. The Master Plan positions “the Lath” as the premier Belconnen destination, host to shops, markets, live music, street festivals, and other entertainment options as well as health, education and community services.

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Canberra is flourishing with free fitness activities

In my latest RiotACT post, I point out some of the great, free exercise options available to people living in Canberra:

We are lucky to have a wide range of sporting options available in Canberra … If you are looking to get fit in Canberra, but don’t want (or can’t afford) to pay membership fees for the local gym or sports club, there are a range of great free and flexible options available …

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