Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 May 2010) . . Page.. 1737 ..

importance of good planning. We understand the importance of allowing the social fabric to be nurtured and to grow in suburbs right across the ACT.

The issue of the disused petrol station sites is one I have had many emails on. The Greens have taken a very active role in moving it forward. We acknowledge the concessions that have been put forward by the ACT government, which have been, I understand, rolled over again to this year because it is quite a complicated process. We want to see some good progress made and I am working closely with a number of residents across the suburbs and, most recently, in the suburb of Page.

We do know people in Dunlop and we do have a good understanding of their issues. I know that Mr Coe would like to see himself as the white knight striding across the electorate of Ginninderra with nobody else around, but there are a number of very active members out there who have continual, ongoing contact with constituents and actively take up their issues in the Assembly.

As we know, there are concerns about the traffic problems and the capacity for the current roads to deal with future development. Constituents have contacted me about this, amongst other matters. They have stressed that traffic and transport issues are especially important given that you need some form of personal transport in Dunlop if you hope to get anywhere. Bus services are not great. In some parts the bus stops are a long way apart and there is little shelter.

I think part of that comes back to the design of Dunlop. Unfortunately, Dunlop has quite narrow streets. It really was not built with a view to getting a bus through the suburb. The route, in a sense, goes around the suburb and people have quite some distance to walk. When we plan suburbs we need to include these sorts of amenities up-front because retrofitting later is quite often impossible. Of course, this can have quite negative impacts on a range of people who may not be able to afford a second car or who may choose to use public transport. There are a range of reasons why we need to provide options in the transport area. Trips to nearby shops at Kippax and Charnwood, while it is quite an easy trip by car, can be difficult if you need to rely on public transport.

My constituents have also raised with me problems around things like internet access to the suburb. Compared to many other suburbs in the Belconnen area, the internet speeds are slow and unreliable, with congestion, particularly at peak times. This really causes some frustration. Unfortunately, at this point, it would seem that there are no immediate plans to upgrade this service.

Problems such as these highlight the need for a formal and recognised precinct planning process that is more than just the residential blocks—more than just the houses that are going to go in. We need to ensure that when we develop suburbs and plan for that development government takes into account the social needs of people who are going to live in these areas. These needs can be around local shops, community facilities and, as I have said, good public transport coverage. They are also around footpaths. Many of these suburbs will contain younger families who will have children on bikes and will be pushing prams. These sorts of issues need to be looked at. They are not minor when you are developing areas such as these.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Sittings . . . . PDF . . . . Video