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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 289..


MR BARR (continuing):

suggest, not just to members of my staff but to all staff members and anyone else who is using a computer in this building, that all of their activities are, of course, monitored and recorded. Whilst this was an unfortunate incident and the staff member concerned has suffered a very high person price in terms of their professional career, it should serve as a lesson to everyone in this building. It is not the first time that such an incident or a like incident has occurred, but let us hope that it is the last time.

City West master plan

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, you recently unveiled the new Childers Street arts precinct. Can you tell the Assembly how this project contributes to the achievement of the City West master plan as well as to enlivening the city?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I was very pleased to see the finish of the first stage of the Childers Street arts precinct, which people may have seen over the past couple of weeks. This project is a major project for the ACT government. It is a $6 million project funded by the territory and it has created a brand-new and striking arts centre or precinct for City West.

What we are seeing at the moment in City West is quite extraordinary. Within the next 12 months we will have 5,000 people working in City West. Within the next 12 months we will have 700 permanent residents and 500 students living in the precinct, an area that was previously dominated by large areas of surface car park. It really is one of the most significant mixed-use urban development projects we have seen in Canberra.

The government believe it is important that we improve the public realm in these areas at the same time as we see this significant level of private development. So that is what Childers Street is all about. We could have chosen to have it upgraded just like any other ordinary street but we saw the opportunity to make this street a centrepiece, a place for people to gather, to enjoy and to use the space not just as an everyday street but also for festivals and events, leveraging off the fact that we have a large student population locating in the area as well as the street theatre, the school of music, the school of art and other developments that will emerge in the coming years.

Childers Street sets a new standard in terms of the quality of development for public spaces in Canberra. The road pavement, footpaths and all underground services in Childers Street needed replacement and we took the opportunity to upgrade all these assets significantly. The design of the street brings together the visual and performing arts and gives physical expression to music and movement. It will encourage private investment in City West and it gives certainty to that investment because property owners and prospective property owners looking at sites along Childers Street will see the commitment the government has made in terms of public infrastructure and they will have greater certainty that they can make a significant contribution in terms of their own private investment in that location.

The new works are designed to focus the energy that exists within the ANU, the arts community and the commercial areas of the city. A number of innovative measures are in place in Childers Street. We have water harvesting into rain gardens, space to


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