Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 847 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

complicated inquiry. I also wish to thank my colleagues Mr Corbell and Mr Rugendyke for their assistance during the two-year inquiry undertaken by my committee.

I commend the report to the parliament.

MR CORBELL (11.52): The majority report, as just outlined by Mr Hird, of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services in relation to proposals for the Gungahlin Drive extension has in my view failed to properly address the range of transport, land use and planning issues, which are central to the debate, of not just the Gungahlin Drive extension but the future of land use planning and transport planning in the ACT.

Through this inquiry the committee was presented with a significant opportunity to present a more balanced approach in addressing the significant disadvantages facing Gungahlin residents in terms of transport equity. Equally, the committee had open to it an opportunity to recommend a route for the Gungahlin Drive extension which was direct and effective in linking Gungahlin to Canberra's arterial road network, whilst also sustaining the least possible damage to Canberra Nature Park. There were also considerable opportunities for the committee to recommend proposals for more effective public transport provision and for the better integration of land use and transport planning. In my view, the majority report has failed to grasp the opportunity to effectively address any of these issues.

Mr Speaker, I would like to briefly outline the issues involved in my dissenting report and explain why I believe it is appropriate that I dissent from the majority finding. The first issue I want to address is the issue of a balanced approach to meeting the transport needs of Gungahlin residents. As Mr Hird has rightly pointed out, Gungahlin is the fastest growing urban area in Australia and is projected to have a total population of approximately 110,000 residents. The location of Gungahlin between the already established areas of Belconnen and north Canberra makes transport links between the Gungahlin area and other parts of the city more difficult as the construction of new roads will require either crossing through existing areas or skirting already established areas.

The development pattern of Canberra is still based upon the so-called Y plan. The metropolitan structure of Canberra calls for a decentralised city with town centres acting as regional hubs for employment, retail, community and commercial activity. The philosophy behind this approach remains to contain a percentage of journeys from within any town centre to that town centre, thus reducing the need for intertown travel. This land use approach in the past has been supported by policies which locate employment generating activity, along with commercial and community facilities, within each town centre. Unfortunately, the approach of this government has been, on the whole, to abandon this strategy when it comes to the development of Gungahlin.

Gungahlin currently has a population approaching 20,000 residents. Its employment base in comparison is pitiful. As a result, the level of containment of journeys within the Gungahlin area is also extremely small, and this has resulted in increasing demands on existing roads such as Northbourne Avenue by vehicles leaving Gungahlin each morning and returning each evening. In effect, Gungahlin is simply a dormitory suburb. This is despite the fact that it has a population base rapidly approaching that of Weston Creek. This situation has been allowed to develop through inaction by government in addressing

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .