Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 199 ..
In the context of this morning’s motion around federal public service employment, let me say there is not much of that in the Gungahlin town centre, which is why it was important for the ACT government to locate 600 of our staff in the Gungahlin town centre. That is why it is important that the ACT government has or will put 600 staff into the Gungahlin town centre. That is a commitment, as a proportion of our workforce, way in advance of anything the federal government has done. We will, of course, welcome new federal government employment in Canberra, full stop, but that employment would be fairly distributed around our city’s town centres. That would be an important contribution that the federal government could make to economic growth in the ACT. I will not, however, hold my breath that the Canberra Liberals, and the Liberal Party nationally, will be supportive of that, because it is not in their DNA.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (5.08): I would like to thank my colleague Ms Fitzharris for bringing forward this afternoon the motion, which I support. Whilst the government is progressing planning along Northbourne Avenue, city to the lake, East Lake and commercial centres through our master plan program, there is still a significant focus on greenfields planning, land release and development in our new suburbs in Gungahlin and Molonglo. Importantly, greenfields areas, in particular Gungahlin, provide opportunities for housing choice and affordable housing while providing access to a wide range of services and social infrastructure that support a rapidly growing community. Specifically, the ACT planning strategy identifies the continuing growth of greenfields areas, in particular Gungahlin, and sets a target of 50 per cent of new homes to be provided in greenfields sites. Obviously from year to year the percentage of new homes in greenfields areas will change through the government’s land release program.
Notwithstanding, it is clear that Gungahlin will continue to grow and be supported by a significant government investment in the form of schools, roads, public transport and other community infrastructure. Gungahlin’s population was approximately 56,700 people in 2013, and this is expected to rise to an ultimate population of approximately 90,000 people over the next 20 to 30 years. Future residents will be housed in the new suburbs of Moncrieff, Throsby, Kenny, Taylor and Jacka, as well as within the town centre itself. This population will also support the continuing investment by the private sector in Gungahlin.
Demand for detached housing remains strong and every effort is being made to increase the supply of standard residential sites in greenfields estates. Over the next four years, to 2017-18, approximately 3,000 dwellings are proposed to be released in Gungahlin. Construction work has already commenced on building the infrastructure for the new suburbs of Jacka and Moncrieff. Notwithstanding, one of my and the community’s concerns with greenfields development is to ensure that development occurs in a sustainable and socially responsible manner, in particular one that responds to climate change.
In relation to Gungahlin, environmental sustainability has been taken into account through the Gungahlin strategic assessment that was approved by the commonwealth