Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 111..
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
Australian public service—Belconnen
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (10.01): I move:
That this Assembly:
(a) the significant investment made by the ACT Government into Belconnen over many years;
(b) the importance of Commonwealth public agencies located in Belconnen which are an important part of the local Belconnen community and economy;
(c) the uncertainty over the future of the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the Belconnen town centre; and
(d) that many Belconnen based small businesses would be severely disadvantaged if the department was relocated away from Belconnen; and
(2) calls on the Speaker to convey the Assembly's strong request to the Federal Government to keep the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Belconnen.
Madam Speaker, the federal Liberal government cannot even manage itself. Now it wants to spread its disarray to Belconnen in an ill-thought-out proposal to rip the immigration department out of Belconnen.
Immigration was one of the first major federal government departments to be located in Belconnen over 30 years ago as the new town centre was being developed. Before self-government, Liberal and Labor federal governments, through the NCDC, the National Capital Development Commission, cared for and cultivated the development of the national capital and the various town centres it created.
The ACT Labor government is doing the same in Gungahlin—consolidating a government agency workforce there to stimulate the local economy and the community, with workers living in Gungahlin and working in the town centre. It is the same thinking that made Immigration a bedrock of the Belconnen community and economy in the early days.
Since then the ACT Labor government has continued to invest in Belconnen, making it one of the most vibrant of the town centres. I have noted before that we have proved the city to the lake concept and its pleasures in Belconnen. The lakeside at Belconnen