Page 1329 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022
leaseholders—for example, the Tuggeranong Archery Club and the Thompson Homestead. The Tuggeranong Archery Club were really concerned about their future, and rightly so. I visited them recently for the Bhutan archery tournament. This sporting facility, and others in the area, must be protected. They must know what the future holds for them. I believe the future should be that their lease should remain.
These, again, are issues that a feasibility study can look at. There are other sporting clubs in the precinct as well who will also be very concerned about their future. We must look after them and give them certainty. Similarly, the Thompson Homestead, with significant heritage value, must be preserved in any potential development. Of course, that is on this side of the river, not the other side of the river.
Let us not forget that we are talking here about more than that land between the Hyperdome and the river, in the feasibility study. It is no secret that, over and over again in this place, we have talked about a housing affordability crisis, a housing crisis. Just this morning my colleague Mr Davis brought on a motion about the rental housing crisis. I do not have his exact words, but, in effect, what I think he said was that we have to use all the tools that we have all at once to address this crisis. This is an example of that. We must do whatever we can to address the housing crisis we find ourselves in. I am not going to talk about the drivers for that, the structural issues behind that.
I know that Canberrans love to get out and support their local businesses. Many small businesses and family businesses in the town centre area have struggled immensely over the past few years. COVID, of course, has contributed to that. But for them also it is the location. For many of us in Tuggeranong the town centre is nowhere near the centre. You actually have to make a specific trip to go there. It is not on your way, necessarily, to go there. Many Tuggeranong residents are more likely to go to their local group centre and even—I am sad to say—to Woden, on their way to somewhere else. I think that is a terrible practice, but I know that it does happen. The potential development of west Tuggeranong could lead to the revitalisation of the town centre that local businesses so desperately need.
Compared to other territory electorates, Brindabella’s population has been declining. In 2017 Tuggeranong had 20.82 per cent of the ACT’s population. This is expected to drop to 17.08 per cent by 2041. Mr Parton has already made the point about the declining population. We also appear to have an ageing population. This is going to have a huge impact on the businesses in Tuggeranong and their viability. We want to support those businesses, especially our small and family businesses.
Mr Parton: Some of us do.
MS LAWDER: Some of us do. Tuggeranong needs more investment, more infrastructure and more people moving to the area to support it so that local businesses can thrive. Committing to a feasibility study like this is one way that we can provide some hope for them and allow them to have input into what they see as the future. It would, I hope, lead to a recognition that we need to provide more housing for Canberrans and, importantly, more housing options. If done correctly, it may in the future be developed in a way that preserves the best that nature has to offer,