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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Friday, 23 April 2021) . . Page.. 1183 ..

for accommodation, and often the lack of social support to enable them to live settled lives. Homelessness rarely has a single cause. It is the interplay and cumulative impact of systemic, structural, and individual circumstances that forces this person onto the streets.

The charities do a wonderful job with their limited resources, helped by a vast army of volunteers willing to give up their free time to help those less fortunate than themselves.

Just because you have a nice home, a good job and a close family does not mean you are safe. Homelessness does not discriminate.

Planning—Gungahlin town centre

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (2.11): Today I want to talk about my intense interest in the future of the Gungahlin town centre and ensuring that the community gets a town centre to be proud of, a town centre that serves the community, a town centre that the community has had the opportunity to shape.

The future of Gungahlin town centre is an active question that lies before this Assembly. A draft variation to the Territory Plan concerning the Gungahlin town centre now sits before the planning standing committee. It is a document with features so ugly that there is no way to draw a link from it to the community feedback from which it is supposedly derived. It is a plan that sells Gungahlin short. It includes a 37 per cent reduction in community spaces at a time when Gungahlin is screaming out for community space to hold classes, practices and community events to cement the bonds that hold a community together, and at a time when another part of the government is conducting a Gungahlin community recreation needs study.

The proposal has already prejudged the outcome of that study and decided that Gungahlin can get by with 37 per cent less community space. It also includes a 35 per cent reduction in office space. The proposal no longer sees Gungahlin as providing a strong employment base, with those exact words struck out of the precinct code. In their place are the words “range of employment”. We already have a range of employment in Gungahlin. We need more.

With the cuts in community space and office space, what will we see instead? More apartment towers. This is despite 58 per cent of residents stating that they want no more residential apartment towers in the town centre. This week I asked the minister for planning why draft variation 364 is looking to cut community zoned facilities by 37 per cent and office space by 35 per cent. I am still none the wiser.

We must act now. Once the land is sold off we have lost our opportunity to create a future; but selling the land is exactly what the Suburban Land Agency are currently doing. They are currently selling off more blocks for mixed-use development. This is despite urban planning currently being in front of a committee in this Assembly. This is despite a motion passed by this very Assembly saying that we need to ensure that current sales of development sites support best practice mixed-use developments.

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