Page 469 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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changes noted above, the demand for a variety of accommodation choices has increased and has been met by urban infill with low rise apartments in suburban areas around shops in areas such as Bruce and higher rise apartment buildings in the Belconnen CBD.

Meanwhile aged-care accommodation has spread dramatically through the suburbs, for independently living seniors. Other opportunities to add to the accommodation mix have arisen through market changes. I am thinking, for example, of the townhouses being built on the old Jamison Inn site or the rehabilitation and reuse of old suburban service station sites.

These service station sites next to shopping centres are springing back to life in Belconnen as prime development opportunities. A Page service station is being developed into residential apartments and a retail space. Another site at Jamison has already been redeveloped. Redevelopment of disused service station sites revitalises suburbs and local shopping centres while providing Canberrans with a wider range of housing choices.

The Freestyle Apartments on the Holt service station site were developed a few years ago by CHC housing. CHC redeveloped the O’Connor service station site as part of a City Edge development. They have also undertaken the redevelopment of a range of old public housing in Belconnen, providing low cost accommodation especially for groups of tenants on low incomes.

CHC has built extensive affordable housing in Bruce as well. The decommissioned Higgins school site is another example of changes in demand leading to opportunities for urban renewal and new accommodations, particularly for aged care, becoming available. In the last decade we have expanded housing in west Belconnen, including West Macgregor, and the Riverview development further west is under design.

Closer to the Belconnen CBD, the suburb of Lawson, long delayed by the federal government, is surging ahead, with the basic infrastructure completed and the blocks sold to eager buyers. Canberrans’ high average income drives up our costs of living even for those living on welfare, marginal incomes and the minimum wage.

As a result, affordable housing initiatives and public housing in Belconnen play an essential role in a city that is expensive to live in by any standards. A major upgrade and renewal of our public housing is welcome news to my constituents. It will fit well with the range of initiatives of this government to help those most in need. It is a sign of this Labor government’s commitment to Labor values of a fair go for all.

MS FITZHARRIS (Molonglo) (12.24), in reply: I thank my colleagues for discussing this motion today and I thank those who have already indicated their support. I was pleased to bring this motion about urban renewal to the Assembly today. In the motion I talked about productivity, connectivity, sustainability and investment across all our suburbs as a key part of urban renewal. I thank the Chief Minister for his support of the motion, for articulating his understanding of the challenges that our future presents, for articulating also a vision of what our city can be and for the energy this government is bringing to this important task.

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