Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 515 ..
Nonetheless, locals have reached out in Facebook groups and community groups like the Molonglo Valley Community Forum, and there is work to do, because there is much that has not yet been resolved by the government over all the time that I have been here.
I would like to make note particularly of the debacle that is the Coombs shops development, resulting in a long-term, almost totally empty shopping centre. I believe there are solutions to this, but I do not think enough work has been done. There is a dysfunctional government housing area close to the shops, where people are being victimised and are living in fear—an issue that I have raised directly with Ms Berry. There is an unhelpful bus route that is not going along quite the right roads. There are some pretty high petty crime rates. Residents regularly discuss items being stolen from their front doors, gardens and paths. The dogged determination by this government to build additional housing on the Coombs peninsula has left that community without access to a local natural green space and a place to unwind. For all that that suburb needs, there is much work to do.
In the suburb of Denman Prospect there are many emerging needs as well. Whilst this suburb is doing better, it is still missing, like the others, a major shopping centre, police, fire and ambulance, and proper infrastructure of an acceptable standard that is comparable to that of other group centres.
I have outlined just some examples, after really listening to what residents have had to say, of the things that the community council will no doubt be involved in trying to resolve. I reiterate that it is good for residents to have their own community council, but this should not be the government’s excuse for ignoring well-known and existing problems that have been ongoing in the area.
The Canberra Liberals will continue to support all residents of the Molonglo Valley and be their voice in this chamber. We will continue to hold the government to account for their inaction, and we welcome any opportunity to work with the government to achieve real and equitable results for this community.
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee—Minister for Skills, Minister for Transport and City Services and Special Minister of State) (5.24): I thank and congratulate Dr Paterson for putting this motion before us; it is her first motion in the Assembly. I would also like to congratulate her on her role advocating for the Molonglo community.
From 27 residents and 11 households in Molonglo at the 2011 census, we are expecting there to be 15,000 people living in the Molonglo community by 2022, and 55,000 in the future. While some regions—like Woden, Gungahlin and the north of Canberra—are expected to see strong growth over the coming years, the anticipated growth in the Molonglo Valley will dwarf them all, with an expected 156 per cent increase in population likely to take place to 2022. So I am very thankful that Dr Paterson is thinking ahead with her motion outlining the importance of establishing a representative community council for the Molonglo Valley.