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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 August 1995) . . Page.. 1372 ..


MR CONNOLLY (4.04): I am not a member representing Tuggeranong; I am a member representing central Canberra. But I want to enter this debate. I know that Mr Osborne is very concerned about facilities for Tuggeranong, particularly schools. I know that because during the election campaign he promised more schools for Tuggeranong by closing my local primary school at Red Hill. I know that he feels very strongly about Tuggeranong facilities, as does the Labor Party. The proud record of achievement of the Labor Party in the last four years or so has been gone into in great detail by Mr Whitecross.

As Mr Whitecross pointed out, I do need to remind Mr Osborne that raising an MPI on the importance of health facilities in Tuggeranong the day after you vote to sack the doctor in the health centre is somewhat inconsistent and hard to rationalise. But that is the decision that you made and are responsible for. As a member for Molonglo, I want to refer to the latter part of Mr Osborne's speech in which he said that the Tuggeranong Valley compares very poorly with other town centres in the ACT. I want to say that residents of an important and growing area of my electorate would beg to differ. I am talking about residents of Gungahlin. Gungahlin is now increasingly the focus of development in Canberra. Gungahlin is really where Tuggeranong was four, five or six years ago. It was as little as three years ago that it was merely sheep paddocks. There has been massive growth and development in recent years.

During the period that we were in government, we were conscious of learning the lessons of the development of Tuggeranong; and there were some errors in that staged process of development. They were some of the things that Ms Horodny referred to - not properly coordinating facilities and facilities not being put in at the right time. Planners and governments learnt from those lessons. For example, originally we put a temporary building at Gungahlin as a community centre. That has been expanded. There was a plan. One of the key lessons learnt in the development of Tuggeranong must be the staged development of the town centre as the spur to development and the peg to hang other facilities off. One of the key lessons learnt in the development of Tuggeranong was that, until there is a sound employment base, it is very difficult to get the private sector to take off. Mr Osborne would well remember, as would other members, that the Hyperdome, when it first opened, had a difficult period because there just was not the employment base in Tuggeranong. I heard a lot of interjectors heckling Ros Kelly, but I think anyone in Tuggeranong would be aware that the decision to move the Department of Social Security was a vital decision for the economic viability of commerce in the Tuggeranong Valley. You must have that employment base.

Labor was putting in place a very important opportunity - one of the few opportunities that will emerge in coming years - to move a substantial ACT government department to Gungahlin. That move of DELP to Gungahlin would have been the spur for development in Gungahlin. It was abandoned by this Liberal Government. Another key community facility obviously is police and emergency services facilities. Labor had put in train a lot of work to provide a coordinated approach to emergency services for Gungahlin - a combined police, fire and ambulance facility. Again, the lessons were learnt from Tuggeranong, where we have a police facility at Erindale and we have three fire stations at the points of the triangle of the valley. We would be much better off if we had been able to plan those better and have a central facility. Both parties promised that in the election. That was abandoned in last week's capital works program.


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