Page 4196 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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The ACT government is also in the middle of a consultation on the future of the proposed site for the new Gungahlin bus station, with the likely location selected as Gungahlin Place between Ernest Cavanagh Street and Hibberson Street. And, of course, there is light rail stage one, which will also come down Hibberson Street. All these elements will impact on the future of the street and the town centre.

For me, the next step will be to get more feedback from local businesses and community groups. I have spoken to many already, and I know there is some concern about the impact on access from closing Hibberson Street to cars permanently. I look forward to getting more feedback from local businesses and local community groups and continuing my conversation with the Minister for Planning, Mick Gentleman, about how we can advance this discussion and better understand any impact on traffic management and planning in the town centre.

I acknowledge today the great work Minister Gentleman has done on the statement of planning intent released earlier this week. He is spot on when he says we need to seize opportunities for urban renewal and make our city more accessible, inclusive, well designed and friendly. Actions to improve public places and streets need to involve conversations with the community on how we can collectively make better places for people. That is what I set out to do in this survey. I think any changes to the town centre should be about creating better places for people and vibrant public spaces that focus on pedestrians first.

The feedback in my survey and from my conversations so far aligns well with the extensive consultation undertaken by the minister, and I am excited to see this conversation about the town centre with the statement now released. The feedback has been great and shows that we have a very engaged community who love to have their say on local issues. It also highlights to me that Gungahlin residents want a main street which is vibrant, a reason for people to travel into the town centre.

As I said, there is and will continue to be a lot of development in the town centre over the next few months and years. Light rail and a more integrated transport system will also change the town centre in a positive way and, I believe, change Hibberson Street significantly.

I hope we can find a solution for the town centre that supports our region as it continues to grow. Hibberson Street will undoubtedly be at the centre of future planning but ultimately this is a whole-of-region issue that needs a holistic approach. I am proud the thoughts of the 720 people who filled in my survey will be included in future discussions.


MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (6.10), in reply: As I have a pair tomorrow from about 11 and this is my last night in the Assembly for this year, I take the opportunity to thank Assembly staff and to wish my caucus and cabinet colleagues a safe and refreshing break over the new year. I look forward to working with them again in this place in the new year.

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