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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 122 ..

amount of change, businesses and the broader community, I believe, will welcome a sense of the full picture as well as an opportunity to contribute and maybe get a bit of stimulation for what the potential could be in the town centre. After raising the idea with my colleagues late last year during that community cabinet, I wrote to the many businesses and organisations in the town centre. I can tell you that there are hundreds. My hand was very sore from signing all those letters, but, not surprisingly, we received really strong interest in this proposal.

Today, I am pleased to share that work is now beginning to get underway on this showcase or market day for later this year. We have invited organisations like the Canberra Business Chamber to partner with us to help realise its potential as an idea. The showcase or market day will be an opportunity for ACT government directorates as well as businesses, community organisations and other interested parties to present to the community and to each other about their current and planned contributions to the town centre. It has the potential to provide a full picture of what is happening in the town centre, to encourage all members of the community to ask questions and get up to speed about the changes underway, and to reinforce and reinvigorate activity in the town centre.

I am grateful that the showcase has already been recognised as an idea with considerable merit. I am pleased to have the government’s support and I have confidence in its ability to create greater awareness and engagement across the community about the changes underway in the town centre and its huge potential. I look forward to many members in this place, including people who are equally passionate about our town centres, showing their support for it, too.

While I commend Ms Le Couteur’s similar passion for town centres, I cannot support the motion in its current form. I look forward to the amendments that will be moved shortly.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Urban Renewal) (11.04): Firstly, I would like to thank Ms Le Couteur for her motion, which in many ways reflects the government’s thinking. As I prepare to address Ms Le Couteur’s motion, I would like to invite members to reflect on the many challenges Canberra faces as it grows and transitions into a major city. These challenges are the same as those that face other cities across Australia and, of course, around the globe.

Let me emphasise that the urban renewal and new suburbs we need are essentially about people and communities, so we must get it right. As we go towards a population of 500,000 over the next 20 years, it is increasingly important that we address the challenges of creating livable, resilient and connected communities. We want to celebrate our history while growing into a smart, competitive, attractive and adaptable place for a diverse population. Our success will be guided on how we manage urban renewal through economic prosperity and innovation, accommodate a changing community and build resilience to climate change.

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