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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2166 ..

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

(1) The extension of the off-peak ticket to peak periods is not addressed in the 2003-04 budget.

(2) The Government will respond to the election commitment within this term of office.

Gungahlin Town Centre

(Question No 626)

Mr Cornwell

asked the Minister for Planning, upon notice:

In relation to what were the specific reasons for the Gungahlin Development Authority rejecting the Town Square proposal for the Gungahlin Town Centre.

Mr Corbell

: The answer to the member's questions is as follows:

The Gungahlin Development Authority was established to implement the Variation to the Territory Plan for the Gungahlin Town Centre and Central Area.

The Variation sets out the principles and policies for the development of the Town Centre and central Area and was agreed by the Assembly developed after an extensive period of community consultation. The Town Centre principles include that it:

be distinct, sustainable, flexible and friendly and respond to issues of human scale and development;

be established along a "main street"which is to be the focus of retail and civic facilities; and

be based on the concept of an "urban village".

The Town Square proposal from the then Gungahlin Equality Party is contrary to the planning policies in that it undermines the principles of a street based centre. As such the Authority, as an implementation body, could not support the proposal from the Equality Party. In addition, independent market research commissioned by the Authority indicated that the majority of residents in Gungahlin support the development of the Town Centre as proposed.

The Gungahlin Town Centre commenced construction in 1997 and there has been substantial investment from both the Government and the private sector in implementing the development as planned. Recent tender processes which will see a total investment in the Town Centre of approximately $90m has seen the private sector respond positively to the Town Centre concept, in that we have unique development proposals that will create an exciting retail hub centred on a main street.

It is also important to note that the Town Centre concept provides for a substantial Town Square and Town Common. These areas will be important public spaces for community gatherings and events, and create good amenity for Gungahlin residents. The Town Common is to be developed over the next 18 months and the community will have opportunities to be involved in the design of the space.

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