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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2767 ..

Planning, Transport and City Services—Standing Committee—Report 5—Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No 364—Gungahlin Town Centre: Amendments to the Gungahlin precinct map and code (Copy), dated 30 September 2021, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (11.56): I wish to offer my thanks to the members of the planning committee for the work they have done by inquiring into an issue that is so close to my heart. Many members of the community, including myself, have campaigned for years to create a truly liveable town centre. To read the committee’s report was heartening.

During the committee inquiry, the community clearly called for more employment opportunities, a greater say for local people, and better connections with green space and Yerrabi Pond. The community, the Gungahlin Community Council and I have consistently called for a liveable, vibrant Gungahlin—one that meets the needs of the community, which include employment opportunities, green spaces, entertainment and community facilities.

The government rightly has targets to stop urban sprawl and increase affordable housing, but it has been so focused on building apartments that it has forgotten what makes a community work. The Indicative Land Release Program and the land sales process have repeatedly encouraged residential buildings to squeeze out community facilities, commercial investment and employment generation in the Gungahlin town centre.

I will continue to advocate in public, private and this Assembly for an innovative, whole-of-government approach to create a Gungahlin town centre that is a hub of commercial and community activity.

National Capital and Development Commission era thinking of plonking large federal departments within town centres is no longer viable. But that does not mean that we simply accept defeat. The ACT government needs to display imagination on how to generate commercial and employment opportunities in the Gungahlin town centre. This does not mean having the ratepayer paying commercial entities investing in Gungahlin; it is about the application of innovation and new ideas.

Attempting to drive commercial activity through demand provided by residents in the Gungahlin town centre is inconsistent with creating a town centre that is a genuine mixed-use area with a thriving commercial life during all times of the day. Based on repeated on-the-ground experience in Gungahlin, such development will lead to a dormitory suburb where residents leave the town centre in the morning via light rail to work elsewhere in the territory, returning only in the evenings.

I am happy with the recommendations of the report, and I look forward to working with the government to deliver a better future for Gungahlin. I would like to thank the

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