Page 2767 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 August 2015

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Mannheim Street in Kambah, Rivett, Fraser, Carleton Street in Kambah, Fadden, Wanniassa, Castley Circuit in Kambah and Marconi Crescent in Kambah.

The first shopping centre on the list is Evatt. The Evatt shops were featured on this front page, as I just said, in 2012. The upgrade was announced and promised. Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, Ms Porter, Ms Berry and numerous others were all there promising to deliver. Anyone who has visited the Evatt shops will understand why an upgrade is required.

There are a range of businesses at the shops. The owners work hard and provide a great service for the community. They live up to their end of the bargain. They do a great job servicing the community. But is it too much to ask for cracks in the pavement to be fixed, for the lighting to be repaired, for the abandoned truck to be taken away, for the graffiti to be cleaned, for the stairs to be made safe or for the cracks in the walls to be fixed? Residents of Evatt have been waiting for the promised upgrades since 2012.

At the time of the 2012 announcement one of the owners of the shops said he was looking forward to the upgrade. The direct quote is:

Hopefully we get it very soon and it will look much better. I’ve been asking for the work to be done for a long time so it will be good. We need a bit of a facelift.

How this government has let them down. These people have been investing in their community for years and they were told that in 2013 an upgrade would happen, would take place. They are still waiting.

There was some progress from the government when it produced preliminary sketch plans for the upgrade. However since then nothing has happened. In fact in February 2014 when I wrote to the minister to ask what was happening I was told:

In terms of priority, Evatt and Florey Shopping centres were assessed as being of highest priority in the Belconnen region and Forward Design work is underway at these centres … Funding of the construction of these shopping centres will be considered in the 2014-15 ACT Budget process.

They might have been considered but they were knocked on the head. They are still waiting. Is it going to happen in 2015? Maybe Mr Rattenbury is going to stand up and say, “I promise it is going to happen next year.” The problem is: that has been promised before. The Chief Minister in 2012 said that it would happen next year. We are still waiting.

In early 2014 the project was a year behind what was promised. In October 2014 I again asked the minister about the upgrade at Evatt. The minister said:

Future funding bids will determine when the upgrades at Evatt and Florey shopping centres will be constructed.

It is open ended. At that point in effect the Labor promise has been absolutely discarded.

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