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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5614 ..

the Molonglo Valley but they will in effect be part of Weston Creek. They will be very close to the Weston Creek group centre.

Whilst it is clear that the shopping centre owners at Cooleman Court have responded to this partly through their refurbishment, the car parking and other aspects have certainly not kept up with what the projected demand would be for the use of this shopping centre. I have not lived in Weston Creek for many years. It is not since the early 1980s that I have lived in Weston Creek, in Stirling. It is fair to say that the shops have changed significantly since then, although it is also fair to say that in that almost 30 years there are aspects of that centre which have barely changed at all. I think for that reason alone it is in need of a significant refurbishment.

I think this has been touched on: Weston Creek has no library. We can look at that as an issue.

Weston Creek has one of the oldest populations in the city. In fact, at the last census, with 23,000 people living in the area, 27 per cent of the population were over the age of 55. The ACT population projection for suburbs and districts 2007 to 2019 predicts that Weston will become the district with the oldest population, with a median age of 41 years, in 2019. The median age will be driven by a high proportion of persons aged over 85 years. There will be a two per cent increase in people aged 70 to 80 years by 2019.

Given those demographics pressures, it is reasonable that we actually take a good look now at the future needs of Weston Creek. There is no doubt that the Weston Creek group centre is at the heart of that. There are some local shops in the Weston Creek area but they are at the smaller end of local shops, I think it is fair to say. If you look at, for instance, Holder as an example of the local shops, it is a relatively basic local centre. For a population of 23,000 people, which is now going to grow significantly, certainly in real terms due to the development of Molonglo, it is now time that we had a look at that.

Just on the general point, and where I started from, the reason that Mr Hanson is bringing this forward and the reason Mr Smyth brought forward the motion on the Kambah master plan are that these things matter to our community. The state of your local shops matters. Whether you can get a car park when you go down to your local shops matters. Whether you have basic facilities at your local shops matters. It makes a big difference to people’s quality of life. There are a number of reasons why people move to certain areas—the quality of the group centres or the town centres that are nearby.

It is fair to say that in the ACT, as a general rule because we are a well-planned city, we have been well served by shops. But they have come under increasing pressure over recent years. So we do believe that Weston Creek should have a master plan. That is not to say that other centres are not worthy of consideration. But if you look at all those factors, if you look at the ageing of the population, the changing demographics, if you look at the lack of some of the basic facilities and the lack of some of the upgrades, if you look at some of the car parking pressures there and then if you look at the projected growth in the suburbs of Molonglo and of the Molonglo

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