Page 5104 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 26 October 2011

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The businesses that have outdoor seating must also worry as to the ambience of the Hibberson streetscape. One has to wonder how this government plans development in our city.

We currently have a transport planning exhibition in the Assembly first floor reception area. One of the brochures on transport and mobility says:

People value that Canberra is easy to get around and want to keep this in the future.

It goes on to say:

Transport planning has to be well integrated with land use planning.

Put that with the Gungahlin town centre planning report published in November 2010, which also highlights the need for traffic planning, particularly in improving the way traffic and shoppers mix on Hibberson Street, and you wonder why it is not happening and why it did not happen when Gungahlin was first planned. It was, after all, designed to cater for 100,000 people, yet it is choking at 45,000.

But then I note that the last full review of traffic planning of the Gungahlin town centre was in the 1990s. Is it any wonder, then, that we have the problems today, to the extent we have? It seems to be a policy of “let us wait and see how critical things get before we call for a review or another plan”. An ACTPLA Gungahlin planning study in 2008 also highlighted a number of shortcomings. That was three years ago, Mr Corbell.

Close to the Gungahlin town centre is another serious transport traffic issue that I would like to highlight, and it is one that is getting worse and appears to be without solution. Again, it is perhaps a case of too little vision, too little planning, and all too late. I refer to traffic issues at the Valley campus of the Burgmann Anglican school. There has been a considerable amount of media on this issue, and the school principal, Steven Bowers, is on record as saying that children attending the school are at serious risk of being hit by a car. There is always an accident waiting to happen. The school is located on the corner of The Valley Avenue and Gungahlin Drive, two very busy roads.

Put into that picture parents dropping children off at school and you know you have a problem. Anyone who has been tasked with collecting a child from school will know it is a nightmare and frankly brings out the very worst in most drivers. Congestion cannot be avoided. But throw into the mix commercial traffic accessing an industrial area like Mitchell and it is chaos. Not only is there heavy traffic due to growth in the area as a result of the increase in student numbers, a 50-space car park across the road from the school is soon to be closed. When the school started in 1999 it had 24 students. It has now grown to 1,000 students.

The government has spent money on installing traffic lights. ACTPLA has approved a 13-space car park near the scout hall but longer term I trust there are better traffic solutions in hand. However, given what I have heard today, given this government’s

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