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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 132 ..

As in the Woden Town Centre, a mixed uses area will be located adjacent to the commercial area. Residential areas for group housing surround and penetrate, to a limited extent, the commercial area. Sites for a hospital, a college of advanced education, technical college, institutions, and sports facilities are also close to the commercial area.

From the peripheral roads direct access will be provided to the various parts of the town centre and to the major parking areas of the commercial area. Public transport routes consist of a local and service road network and a right-of-way separated from other roads for rapid transit services, with two stops in the town centre.

Pedestrians are segregated …

It talks also about future opportunities for work. There is a lot of comment about federal commonwealth agencies working in Belconnen. I have talked about that because I think it is important to note the history and the lessons that we learn from those planning aspects as well.

Work, of course, is currently underway on a renewed master plan for the Belconnen town centre that will guide its development into the future. The Belconnen town centre provides a significant amenity for the existing 97,500 residents of Belconnen, so not quite yet the 120,000 expected in the first process or master plan. This includes Lake Ginninderra, recreation, employment, health and retail facilities. The centre’s setting and relationship with nearby institutions also offers advantages unmatched by many other urban areas in Australia. We need to strengthen and capitalise on these advantages to ensure the Belconnen town centre improves and grows, that small business can thrive, that our natural areas are valued and that the town centre is even better placed for the Belconnen community to visit, work and live.

While the town centre has great opportunities, it also faces considerable challenges, and we have heard some of those this morning. The development of the Belconnen town centre master plan will provide clear planning principles and strategies to inform the future development and character of the existing town centre.

The ACT government is preparing this master plan to ensure that future challenges and opportunities are effectively met. Strategies being investigated to address a range of issues include ensuring anchor employment is maintained in the town centre to support the local economy; improving employment diversity by promoting the opportunities presented by the relationship with the University of Canberra, the AIS, Calvary hospital, the proposed university hospital and the town centre; considering new options for the effective delivery of public realm improvements; improving connections for pedestrians and cyclists and in doing so taking the focus away from cars; encouraging the creation of active and attractive town centre destinations to effectively compete with places such as Bunda Street in the city or Kingston foreshore—Belconnen should be a desirable brand—and providing more street trees in the town centre to assist in mitigating the effects of climate change to increase the livability of the town centre and make it a place people want to visit and live in.

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