Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2689 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
course to follow than to pursue the Dedman proposal, which was to go along the fringe of O'Connor and Lyneham. We indicated instead that we would survey the community option adjacent to the Institute of Sport and on the western side of Black Mountain. So the eastern freeway was out.
Fourthly, we acknowledged that the Majura access would be a major access from Gungahlin to the city and, as traffic needs indicated, planning eventually would proceed in that area. I might say that the traffic needs and the impact they are going to have on the community between Gungahlin and Civic, between Gungahlin and Belconnen, and on other parts of Canberra also indicate the sense of some of our other policies, which were to moderate the growth in green belt areas. Those policies were not always well received in this Assembly and in the community. In a sense, it is a no-win situation. Nobody wants major freeways, major roads, and nobody wants developments close to their own home, but I think our policies in the broad were very sensible.
We were also aided in one sense because growth in Gungahlin was slower than had been predicted earlier. At the time of the Gungahlin external traffic study it was expected that the population in Gungahlin would be very much larger than it presently is, but our policies also had something to do with that. The decline in the rate of growth, the slowing of the rate of growth of Canberra as a whole, has meant that the population has not reached that earlier expectation. That has meant that the former Minister and now Mr Humphries have not had to act sooner to provide those road networks or the light rail networks to carry people from Gungahlin to other areas. It is moving towards the time when those roads, those networks, have to be provided, and I guess Mr Humphries is beginning to attend to that and to see where things go. I think it is appropriate that, as this motion states, the relevant Assembly committee should take on the various studies that have been done in the past and move to see that planning now proceeds so that the people in Gungahlin have the access they ought to have to other parts of Canberra.
I think it is a good time to have a very thorough study into the transport needs of Gungahlin. I saw in the last couple of months a study that showed where people travelled from home to work in Canberra. The days have gone when bureaucrats were transferred in their tens of thousands from Melbourne and Sydney and placed close to their work, whether in Woden or Belconnen or Civic, and had little travel to do. It was an ideal system; but with the passage of time, as people change jobs, as offices change location, there is now much more crossing of traffic around Canberra. The dispersed town centres concept inevitably does not work now as well as it did in the early days.
The survey I remember indicated, not surprisingly, that most Gungahlin people leave that area to find their employment. I think it would be appropriate that the Planning Committee or, since there is money attached to it, the Planning Minister should now have a very detailed study of where people in Gungahlin go to work and what their expectations are for employment in their own area. The population is sufficiently large to give us clear indications into the future, and I suggest that that might be a very important way to proceed so that we know exactly what we need to provide. I get a distinct impression, and I think surveys might show it to be the case, that people moving into Gungahlin very largely come from the northern part of Canberra. People from Belconnen,