Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 1 December 2021) . . Page.. 3971 ..
Mr Assistant Speaker, you cannot underestimate the importance of a cinema complex in a town centre like Gungahlin, where entertainment options are so few. I moved to Gungahlin in 2010. Back then my kids were 13 and eight, the perfect ages to take to the movies. There was always so much talk about a cinema complex coming to Gungahlin, but it never happened. Like the rest of the Gungahlinites, we trekked to Belconnen. Of course, this meant that so much business and economic activity was lost to Gungahlin and it benefited Belconnen’s restaurants, bars, cafes and, of course, their cinemas. This is yet another example of the government’s blatant neglect of Gungahlin.
As we heard today in question time, you only have to look at the ministerial line-up of this government to know exactly where the Chief Minister’s priorities lie. It is the Chief Minister who decided that Gungahlin would not have a minister to represent the fastest growing area in the ACT and it is the Chief Minister who instead chose not one or two or three but four ministers for his own inner city electorate of Kurrajong. So much for Mr Barr’s claims of the Labor government’s continued commitment to the growth of the Gungahlin town centre!
Another example of appalling government neglect of Gungahlin is the fact that our 50-metre pool is still closed. Again, back to question time: we heard that 1 December was the day that sports minister Berry promised that the pool would open. It has not, and Gungahlin residents and their families still have no idea if the pool will open for summer, for the school holidays. The government looks the other way as Gungahlin families are forced to trek hundreds of kilometres every week to take their kids to squad training at other pools, whether it is in town, Belconnen or Stromlo.
Before concluding, I would like to revisit Mr Pettersson’s claim of being deeply passionate about a cinema complex for Gungahlin. Given Mr Pettersson’s deep passion and the fact that this is his second term in the Assembly, you would expect him to have given numerous rousing speeches about this since 2016. However, my search of Hansard did not reveal one.
Earlier this year, on 10 February, Mr Pettersson did speak about the need for more facilities and jobs in Gungahlin, which I absolutely support, but his three-page speech did not contain one mention of the cinema. All I found in my search was an article about the cinema from March 2017, in which Mr Pettersson was quoted as saying:
The community has been calling for these facilities. This will mean residents will not have to travel as far for a night out or to entertain the kids in the holidays.
Sadly, Gungahlin residents still have to travel for a night out at the flicks. They still are unable to entertain their kids during the holidays, plus they do not have a 50-metre pool.
The Canberra Liberals will not oppose this motion because the Canberra Liberals want the cinema built. It should have happened years ago. Election promises are meant to be delivered, but the government seems to disagree. The Canberra Liberals urge the government to honour its election promises, particularly the ones that are nine years old.