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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 November 2021) . . Page.. 3207 ..

Once again, this proactive approach by WorkSafe ACT to reach out to young workers is very welcome. I look forward to hearing about the successful implementation of the strategy.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Gungahlin—town centre

Ministerial statement

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.21): I am pleased to table the government’s concurrent responses to the Assembly resolutions of 10 February 2021 and 2 June 2021, moved by Ms Orr and Mr Braddock, respectively, concerning planning and development within the Gungahlin town centre. Separately, I have also provided my response, as Minister for Planning and Land Management, to the Clerk in relation to petition No 16-21 from Mr Braddock that was received on 3 August 2021, concerning planning, land release and development in the Gungahlin town centre.

I thank both Ms Orr and Mr Braddock for bringing these important considerations forward and for their continuing interest in the Gungahlin town centre. I provided a ministerial statement to the Assembly on 11 May 2021 on planning for the Gungahlin town centre and I am now pleased to provide this further tabling statement on similar matters.

The future of the town centre has also been examined by the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services through its inquiry into draft variation to the Territory Plan No 364—Gungahlin town centre. The committee tabled its report containing eight recommendations on 30 September 2021. The government will consider these recommendations, and I look forward to providing a formal response.

Gungahlin is still very much growing and evolving. The Gungahlin district population is estimated to reach approximately 82,500 people this year, an increase of over 6,000 residents from 2017. Several of its suburbs are still under development, with the last suburb, Kenny, to commence development in the coming years. The town centre is also continuing to grow and evolve. Envisaged as a lower scale urban village when development commenced in the 1990s, the centre has grown rapidly, attracting new residents, businesses and investment. It has also been transformed through light rail.

However, a key challenge for the town centre has been its ability to provide employment, particularly that of large-scale commercial office developments for federal government departments. Employment opportunities in Gungahlin are important, as they are equally for other centres across Canberra. The ACT government continues to support location of a federal government department in Gungahlin but not necessarily at the loss of one from another town centre.

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