Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2265 ..
By its very nature, public transport includes physical movement elements through the first-and-last mile benefits of needing to walk. It is important that these first-and-last mile connections are easy, safe and efficient. The public realm must be designed in this manner with place-making principles in mind.
I know that Minister Steel and the hardworking staff in the relevant directorates of the ACT government will carefully consider the comments made by the community and pair them with their professional expertise to deliver some great outcomes for the development of CIT Woden and the transport interchange.
I welcome the update provided by Minister Steel and I look forward to continuing to work with the ACT government and with members of the community to achieve the best possible outcomes for this important area.
MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee) (11.02): The development of Woden’s new CIT is an exciting opportunity to bring new energy into the Woden town centre. It will provide employment and education opportunities. It will result in public spaces that feel safer and more inclusive for everyone by increasing activity and visibility in the area after dark. As an MLA for Murrumbidgee, I am very happy to see plans progressing and consultation with community continuing.
There is one very important element that I would love to see in our new Woden CIT—a live music venue. The very successful recent Amp It Up! program to support live music across our city highlighted the fact that we have a real gap in venues in Woden and Weston Creek. It has not always been this way, and, while I do not miss the Henry Grattan, the closure of Beyond Q in 2020 was a real loss to the community.
Losing a live music venue is more than just the loss of employment for the venue staff and one less place for local artists to get a gig; it is also the loss of a place where we can gather to tell the stories that help us make sense of a rapidly changing world. Now more than ever our communities need the arts.
With light rail coming to Woden in the next few years, it will be easier than ever to come from Tuggeranong or Gungahlin to Canberra’s geographic heart. As anyone who has spent more time than they should have in the ANU bar or the UC refectory can tell you, student life is enriched through access to the arts, even if that means loud music with questionable lyrics.
While we have a theatre for hire at Canberra College, a bar and live music venue close to Woden’s existing night-time economy and the public transport hub will be more accessible and attractive. It will bring more activity into the town centre after dark and make it safer for everyone.
Minister Steel, if you are still feeling unsure about the value to the community and to individual wellbeing that the inclusion of a live music venue would bring to Woden CIT, please consider the range of activities that might take place there. In addition to a band performance, we might see a comedy, cultural performance, dance, panel discussions, poetry slams and karaoke. I hope that you will consider including a live