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Canberra showed that a proposed group centre at Conder would be viable. The authority said, “We will be encouraging the developer to provide a wide range of facilities which could be established at various stages”. What is happening? When are we going to see them? Mr Kaine has said that they will be starting soon. Christmas is soon; the next election is soon.
That retail study showed that about $511m is spent by valley residents each year, but only $326m is actually spent in the valley. It was said that the flow of dollars out of the valley was due to three things: The undersupply of shops in the valley; the town centre being on the outer, south-western side; and the close competition from Woden and Fyshwick. Three-quarters of all food spending was in the valley, but only 50 per cent of all non-food spending was in the valley. The Hyperdome draws about 77 per cent of the total sales. I want to see all the retailers and traders in the valley getting more of the local business. If they are not on the ground for the local buyers to get to, the Government has a problem; this Assembly has a problem; but, most importantly, the 29,998 people, plus Mr Wood and Mr De Domenico, living in the south of the valley have a problem. I say that, as citizens of Canberra, they are being short-changed. We owe them a better deal. There are those who argue that development in the new suburbs to the far north should have a higher priority for any dollars from the Government that are going around. I would like them to answer this question: How long has Tuggeranong, and especially the southern end of Tuggeranong, been waiting, in comparison? How much longer will they have to wait?
MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services) (3.31): Madam Deputy Speaker, I thank Mr Osborne for raising the issue of community and health facilities and urban infrastructure in the Tuggeranong Valley. As one of the members for Brindabella and, as Mr Osborne said, a resident of Conder, I, too, am concerned to ensure that Tuggeranong gets its fair share of community and health facilities and urban infrastructure. Notwithstanding the budget difficulties that this Government has inherited, we have undertaken to build a level of facility in line with standards established elsewhere in Australia.
As Mr Osborne said, the benefits of living in the Tuggeranong Valley are many. We have access to Lake Tuggeranong; we are surrounded by open space; and we are in the Murrumbidgee corridor. We have two fine government colleges, both with excellent public library facilities; a good standard network of roads; a cycle path network, which is being further developed; a well-developed public transport system, with express bus services from South Tuggeranong to the city, as well as express and local services from other parts of the valley; a world-class indoor swimming facility; and a range of playing fields comparable with those in other cities. The town centre is nearing completion and will have all the facilities to service a region of this size.
Notwithstanding the above, we will not stand still. A range of new works for Tuggeranong is proposed. We will work with the community and the private sector to develop a range of new facilities. These will also be important for employment within the valley. For example, a joint feasibility study is in hand between the ACT Government and Business in the Community Inc. for the establishment in the Tuggeranong Valley of a small business incubator, similar in concept to existing centres in Kingston and Downer.