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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1645 ..

more generally, so I thank members of the Liberal Party for agreeing to support the original motion.

A healthy democracy flourishes only when engaged citizens are supported to have a genuine, equitable and effective voice. This motion calls for the people of Gungahlin to exercise this voice over future development. Today, we have made a significant step forward for the future of the Gungahlin town centre.

Features of today’s motion include no reduction in land zoned for community facilities or commercial use, consultation with Gungahlin residents about what community facilities and commercial uses are most appropriate, and reflecting the results of that community consultation in an appropriate sales process. Whilst this consultation continues, we should ensure that interim sales are for the primary purpose of employment generation or community use, encourage land to be released in ways that encourage place-making, and allow for larger commercial leases so as to ensure that they are viable, because there are only so many coffee shops that Gungahlin needs. Finally, we should actively encourage employers into the Gungahlin town centre.

This is a really positive step towards developing a Gungahlin that is vibrant and sustainable. Community voices are so important because people in Gungahlin have a vision for this place. Since tabling the motion, I have heard a wide range of creative ideas—a music studio, art spaces, community halls, coffee carts and better playgrounds, just to name a few.

I say to the members of the public who have been providing these ideas to the “possibilitree”—please keep them coming. It is by creating a positive vision for Gungahlin that we help to create a space that we can be proud of, and make Gungahlin a destination, home to great entertainment, community and family events, retail and employment opportunities.

This motion is not the last word on the future of the Gungahlin town centre. There is also a committee inquiry currently underway, and I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to make a submission.

I am sure that other members of this Assembly must be sick of hearing about Gungahlin by now. I appreciate that there are views from other regions in Canberra that Gungahlin is the golden-haired child who receives a deluge of government attention, to the detriment of other regions. To those people, I say that the debates we are having now about Gungahlin are really debates about all of Canberra and its future—the new greenfield developments in regions such as Molonglo, as well as infill developments such as in the Woden town centre.

The debates about Gungahlin may be more pointed, given that the opportunity to act is limited, so I give the assurance to fellow members that at some point the debates about Gungahlin will diminish in number and the debates will move on to another part of Canberra. I hope that, in the meantime, we will settle the underlying issues and that we will be debating new issues when it comes time for that. In closing, I commend my amendment to the Assembly.

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