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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1395 ..

Gungahlin’s massive population growth is well known; we are one of the fastest growing regions in Australia, and this growth should be of no surprise to this Labor-Greens government. Many of the residents, like me, have a dream of starting a business, working hard for themselves and building a better life for their families. This is where the neglect of Yerrabi Pond is even more frustrating—surrounding businesses have suffered from the lack of parking impacting their patronage and bottom line. The ACT government levies significant taxes on local businesses but has not made the required level of investment in this area. The area once proposed for additional parking has not been improved since the original road was completed. It is poorly maintained, even an eyesore.

This is the same theme applying to many of the small businesses in the outer areas of the Gungahlin town centre. Once the basic infrastructure has been provided and the area has been developed, improvements are rare and non-existent. Let’s look at how hard we had to fight to get parking upgrades at the Palmerston shops. Let’s look at the current state of parking at the Kaleen shops. Look also at the disaster facing businesses along Anthony Rolfe Avenue. Clients have major difficulties in finding parks, yet median strips are very poorly maintained.

Yerrabi Pond is a primary water body in the region, and to the many living on small residential blocks or in apartments it has become their backyard. It attracts more and more visitors; for a region lacking in outdoor recreation spaces, Yerrabi Pond provides somewhere to go and undertake sport and recreation. Some people can walk there but many need to drive. They might want to meet friends to walk around the pond after work, perhaps pack the kids’ scooters to play in the skate park or transport party supplies to host a birthday celebration. Whatever the reason, residents deserve the basic amenity of parking and so do visitors and local businesses. There are some great restaurants and service providers in the Yerrabi Pond area that are run by hardworking mums and dads—people like me and Ms Castley—that take the risk of starting a business only to be bunkered down with red tape, taxes and lack of government support.

I commend this motion and I commend Ms Castley for bringing this important issue to the Assembly. I ask that the government provides support for local businesses in the area and looks at addressing the parking issues that have caused the problems these businesses are facing.

The motion asks the government to explain why a parking upgrade has not occurred since 2013. Given that nothing has been done, the community and businesses deserve some sort of response from this government. A guarantee that this government will invest into businesses will give businesses the confidence to invest and create more employment opportunities. This government is dropping the ball on this and businesses are really suffering. It would be good to see that the government support Ms Castley’s motion and the businesses in the electorate.

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (4.10): It is with great pleasure that I rise today. I always enjoy the opportunity to talk about Yerrabi Pond. It is definitely the focal point of the Gungahlin community, so it makes my day every time we get to talk about it in this chamber. In recent times there has definitely been a lot of community

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