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MS HORODNY (4.00): Mr Osborne has touched upon an important issue today. The level of community services available to residents in outer areas of the ACT is not what it should be. Much of the focus on the development of community services, including cultural and other community facilities, has been focused on central Canberra. While there may be good reasons for this, the Government's policy of encouraging development of new town centres without making adequate provision for services such as community health care and aged care, not to mention public transport and other facilities which are an essential part of a new area developing a sense of place, clearly needs to be questioned.

Naturally, there is some time lag when new areas are developed; but if we are to strengthen local communities we have to strengthen what are now regarded as essential services in outer Canberra and also look at cultural and commercial facilities in these areas. For example, while central Canberra is now quite well served by community places, open air coffee shops and so on, these things are sorely lacking in outer areas of Canberra. I cannot believe that residents in these areas do not like such facilities and do not want the opportunity to shop in a more friendly atmosphere, such as is available in inner Canberra; rather than having a choice of only large shopping malls. Yet the development of Conder shopping centre, for example, looks likely to follow the traditional model of shopping centre development, rather than taking a more innovative approach which provides real opportunities for local businesses to develop.

The problems are not unique to Tuggeranong. Residents of my electorate of Ginninderra have also raised with me a number of real concerns about the services that they have available. I know that many of the same concerns are raised by residents of Gungahlin. The recent debate over the timing of a new high school in Nicholls reflects the feeling of residents in Gungahlin that they are lacking many services. In parts of Belconnen, which is an older area than both Tuggeranong and Gungahlin, where such services exist, their longer term survival appears uncertain. I need only raise the example of the library in Kippax and the continual closure of local shops and newsagents in the Belconnen area to illustrate this point. I believe that this is a reflection of the lack of a strategic plan for the ACT.

When you look at a pictorial depiction of the Territory Plan, the ACT looks like a well planned and thought out place to live. Unfortunately, the plan is only a land use map. It does not provide any indication of the strategic direction required to make it function as a living community. While government has encouraged growth in Tuggeranong and the outer areas of Belconnen, it has had no guide or vision to ensure that these new areas get equal access to services. There is a strong need to develop a strategy to guide the evolution of the ACT. The strategy must take into account changing demographics; it must support the viability of neighbourhood shops; and it must ensure access to vital community services, including health and community care, cultural facilities and access to public transport.

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