Page 1425 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 April 2013

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This Labor government has a proud record of delivering important upgrades to suburban shopping centres. In the past few years we have invested $13.8 million in our suburban shopping centres to make sure that they remain viable and are improved across the ACT. In recent years we have delivered upgrades to shops including those at Higgins, Holt, Scullin and Melba. In 2012 this government invested $3 million in upgrades to Waramanga, Red Hill and Farrer, and design is underway for upgrades to one of my local shopping centres, Charnwood, as well as Cook, Evatt and Florey. As I have already said, the continued viability of our local shops is important to all Canberrans and every suburban community. Not only do our local shops support community wellbeing and social inclusion; they deliver convenient local services and are home to hundreds of small businesses which create thousands of local jobs.

But our investment in our local communities does not begin and end at shopping centres. This Labor government has invested heavily in our local community infrastructure such as sport fields and amenities, because we know that they play an incredibly important role in bringing our community together.

Recent upgrades to Kippax enclosed oval and Charnwood oval are great examples of what this government is doing to make sure that our suburban parks and sporting amenities remain accessible for our community. In the 2010-11 budget, the government provided $2 million to support the redevelopment of Kippax enclosed oval. The Kippax oval project was a partnership between the ACT government, Belconnen Magpies football and sports club, AFL NSW/ACT and Ginninderra Cricket Club. These organisations and members of the community also pitched in to raise an extra $1 million for the project, which enabled the upgrade to expand the benefits that it was going to bring to the community. The upgraded facility was officially opened by Minister Barr in March this year.

Whether it is to play sport or to introduce children to playing sports, to provide a safe space to bring our dogs to or to enable our people to grow their own vegies, our suburban parks, ovals and fields are cherished by the residents of Canberra.

Ensuring that an active government can continue to deliver important suburban infrastructure for our local communities requires a significant amount of high level planning, including the ongoing development of master plans. Master plans provide an opportunity to review and direct change in our centres. They identify what is important for the continued enhancement and protection of the existing character and quality of our town centres. They provide a framework for other important government planning guides such as the territory plan.

Master planning in town centres examines options for residential and retail community needs in those areas and how the centres relate to surrounding neighbourhoods and transport links. The planning of centres needs to be an ongoing conversation and we need to review areas to ensure we continue to influence and respond to change. The ongoing master plan program delivers the direction for changes to town and group centres, setting out principles, outcomes and actions to manage growth and development over time. Community and stakeholder input are

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