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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1650 ..


I want to see a plan to bring all stakeholders to the table to share their ideas for the Gungahlin town centre and to indicate what their interests are—or would be if planning attitudes were changed in the right way. These plans would include the community, independent town planners, developers, planning directorate representatives, and the government. I know that the independent planners, on behalf of the developers, want to build what the community desires to meet their broader needs. The government persist in their mantra of seeking best planning practice and holding endless so-called consultation sessions to prolong the process. In addition, the government has short-changed its community and developer interests by limiting consultation parameters so that answers are sought on a restricted range of issues, often nowhere near what the current community want to discuss.

This is the last chance we have to realise the potential of the Gungahlin town centre. I cannot understand how this Labor-Greens government can ignore the opportunity to take the masses of private vehicles away from the daily commute to the city by not promoting significant local employment opportunities in the Gungahlin region. I cannot understand how the Labor-Greens government can ignore the benefits of making the light rail service more efficient by ensuring that the Gungahlin town centre has adequate employment opportunities so that it can fill up the northbound trams in the morning and the southbound trams in the evening. Surely this should be an essential plank of their philosophy. They might pretend to be siding with the community but, in reality, they are keeping them on the rollercoaster. How can they end their ride?

To use a winter analogy, this is another snow job. Gungahlin residents will soon find out who their real friends are in the region.

MS CASTLEY (Yerrabi) (5.13): Madam Speaker, I do not aspire to be a cynical politician, but sometimes the temptation is strong, particularly when yet another motion and subsequent amendments appear from a government MLA calling on their own government to do what they should already be doing: representing our communities and improving our towns, with more jobs and better facilities.

I read with interest the Canberra Times article yesterday entitled “Govt to debate Gungahlin centre’s future”. The article states:

Labor and the Greens have been locked in discussions over the past three weeks about an amended motion.

That is the amended motion that we are discussing today. I am puzzled as to which part of it was so contentious that it required protracted negotiation between Labor and the Greens. What this motion calls for is what all Yerrabi MLAs want: more jobs for Gungahlin, more quality housing, and mixed-use development sites that encourage small and large businesses to establish in our town.

As we know, the Assembly debated Mr Braddock’s notice of motion during the last sitting week. The Canberra Liberals announced that we would support it, meaning that it would have passed. Then Mr Braddock sided with Labor to defer the vote, leaving Canberrans confused about what they stand for.


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