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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 366 ..


(ii) specific requirements to achieve a higher level of commercial and business uses and subsequent activity within mixed-use developments;

(iii) providing for requirements for commercial fitouts that enable the easy establishment of varied business and commercial activity without the need for significant modification or retrofitting;

(iv) clear design principles that link development activity with achieving active precincts and vibrant street level activity; and

(v) traffic flow around the town centre;

(b) ensuring current sales of development sites incorporate the requirements to support best practice mixed-use developments;

(c) implementing best practice mixed-use developments processes and regulations that are used to inform Draft Variation 364 and the Territory Plan; and

(d) engage with the Gungahlin Town Centre community on mixed-use developments in their town centre.

I rise today to draw attention to a topic that is a matter of great discussion within my electorate of Yerrabi: the development of the Gungahlin town centre. The Gungahlin town centre is the newest town centre in the ACT and one that has grown a lot from its humble beginning as one supermarket, a sandwich shop and the Raiders club. Today, we have clothing stores, cafes, restaurants, office spaces, supermarkets, chemists, a hotel, the best empanadas in Canberra—and the list goes on. Light rail has come to the town centre and a cinema complex is under construction. ACT Labor has committed to build a community and arts centre in consultation with the community, bringing even more life to our town centre.

As our town centre has grown, the development and planning settings that have given rise to it have been a heavily debated topic. Ours is the first town centre to be developed since self-government and presents a shift away from the development traditions of the ACT’s other town centres. One benefit we have had is the benefit of learning through past practice. In the traditional model of town centre development used in Canberra, residential development has been minimal or even discouraged. The outcome has been town centres that thrive during business hours but falter at other times. The model also fails to realise the benefits of living close to work. Gungahlin town centre has from the start had a focus on mixed-use development, including a notable residential component, with the objective of overcoming, from the start, some of the challenges faced in other town centres.

For non-residential activity, the traditional approach to town centre development has seen a large federal commonwealth public service department located within the town centre. We have seen this in Woden with the health department; Belconnen with home affairs and the Bureau of Statistics; Tuggeranong with the department of social services; and the city with the tax department, among others.

As the first town centre developed since self-government, Gungahlin has been overlooked by many successive federal governments, with no large federal public


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