Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 26 March 2015) . . Page.. 1235 ..

As a local member for Brindabella, I am contacted by many people about their local shopping areas. One of the ones I get the most complaints about is the Kambah shops. The ACT government used Kambah shops as an election promise, for upgrading it. I believe it is scheduled for next year. But it has been in quite a disgraceful state for many years. In fact, “a disgrace” is a description that nearly every resident who writes to me uses. Other quotes include “dirty” and “unsafe”.

The rear car park has been described to me as “really revolting”. And I receive complaints from both tenants and shoppers of broken tiles, leaks in roofs, blocked drains, menacing birds and bird droppings. Last year was successful in having TAMS remove the worst of the problem trees, trees that dropped a lot of leaf litter and made a lot of mess around the shopping precinct, which shoppers considered was unsafe as well as unsightly. It also meant that it had cost the shop tenants thousands of dollars before that to remove roots, leaves and twigs that were blocking drains and sumps.

I visit Kambah village regularly—I am not sure whether many other of our members can say that—and to say that it is uninviting is an understatement. As I already mentioned, at the last election the government announced that it would spend—wait for this; it is a really exciting amount—$32,782 on these shops, and not until the 2015-16 financial year. An election sweetener of $458,945 was planned to be spent on other Kambah shops, but Kambah village cannot wait that long. If serious maintenance is not undertaken soon, shoppers will continue to abandon this area and retailers will have no option but to follow.

Not only are residents in Kambah going to derive no benefit from the expensive light rail project, but funds that should be going to maintain their local shops and facilities are instead being spent on public transport that they will never get the benefit of.

Another area in desperate need of some attention is the Tuggeranong town centre, especially the area between the hyperdome and Lake Tuggeranong. To give credit where credit is due, I note that the member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, has often advocated for the improvement of that area in the Tuggeranong town centre. Much of Tuggeranong does feel neglected and is in a lot of need of a bit of renewal, but it appears to be ignored by this government.

To improve their competitiveness, productivity, livability and economic viability, cities often undertake urban renewal. But it is also important to remember that urban renewal is about renewing and maintaining local facilities such as shops, streets, et cetera, not just about building a light rail train that only the minority of Canberrans will be able to use.

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) (3.40): I would like to talk about some of the ways the ACT government is building communities in the ACT, communities that are people-centred places. Planning has a key role to play in building communities and this is a priority for the work of the government’s planning portfolio. Planning for Canberra needs to ensure a future city that is exciting, prosperous and livable for the community. Planning also needs to provide benefits to support the way communities live, work, travel and connect.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video