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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 210 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

All members will be aware that the Gungahlin Community Council recently published the results of its community survey with regard to the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre. It is well known-I am sure that we have all received the emails-that more than 90 per cent of the participants prefer the proposed pedestrian town square model to the main street model developed in 1995-96. Is Labor listening to that? I don't think it is. Such overwhelming community concern cannot easily be brushed aside, except by this government.

On 9 April last year, the minister again characterised his government's approach as, "Tell us your expectations, tell us your concerns, tell us what you want to see achieved."This sentiment is fine sounding, but does it apply in Gungahlin? The people have spoken-the community survey is a quite powerful document-and strong concerns have been expressed not only about the layout but also about pedestrian safety and about the social character and community focus of Gungahlin.

What the people want is not out of reach by any standards. The most favoured option is a pedestrian precinct and a ban on all through traffic in the Gungahlin Town Centre on the main street, that is, Hibberson Street. There might be some scope for accommodating around the edges, but we have to remember that Gungahlin has been built from scratch as a process of community consultation-it did not grow like Topsy-and there are no excuses for us not getting it right and for ignoring the views of the people who want to live there.

They community has very real traffic concerns. Some of those may be addressed-as I have been assured, Mrs Cross has been assured and the Planning and Environment Committee has been assured-by the extension of Anthony Rolfe Avenue. But this is not just about traffic. It is about good design, it is about community safety and it is about listening to the people of Gungahlin.

A government seriously committed to community consultation cannot simply pick and choose what it decides to hear. I note with interest that the Gungahlin Development Authority is currently surveying all Gungahlin households about their views on recreational needs, as I said before. They run the real risk of engendering cynicism in going through an exercise in consultation while, at the same time, blatantly flying in the face of public opinion on another issue.

Given the uncertainty on the part of the community, is it wise to proceed directly to the sale of land in the vicinity of the town centre? My motion calls on the government to recommence its consultation and, while that is happening, to hold off any sales of land, but hold off for a very short time, for six weeks. It is putting everybody on their mettle to come to the table and talk in an open and consultative way, to reach out to one another and seek an accommodation, but not hold up the important process of developing Gungahlin, which in many ways has been too slow.

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