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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 23 March 2017) . . Page.. 1015 ..

The government will deliver public safety and public realm improvements to the Woden bus interchange, including the construction of stairs, ramps and lighting, as well as the demolition of redundant structures. We will also design an additional bus depot at Woden for the operation of up to 120 buses, to improve the efficiency of the network. I and others welcome the announcement today of a round table which will be focused on renewal later this year.

Access Canberra’s new Woden service centre was officially opened earlier this month. The centre brings together 350 Access Canberra staff from five locations. Up to 750 Health Directorate staff are in the process of relocating to Woden. Many staff have already made the move, with the rest moving in April. That is more than 1,000 new staff in the Woden town centre, to counteract the federal Liberal government’s ridiculous move out of the town centre.

The Access Canberra Woden service centre, as we heard in question time today, doubles as a great resource for the Woden community. The community will now have access to more than 200 government services in the one hub. The new centre has also supported the revitalisation of a key building in the area through an innovative and modern fit-out.

Light rail, of course, also presents a huge opportunity to enliven the Woden town centre. Stage 2 of light rail will provide a sustainable transport option for the estimated 210,000 Canberrans who will live, work or study within one kilometre of the city to Woden corridor by 2041. It will also serve to revitalise this corridor, just as we are seeing along Northbourne Avenue.

Woden is already a great place to live and work. Labor, and only Labor, is committed to building on its existing strengths to revamp the town centre and bring new energy and life to the region.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (4.09): I thank Ms Cheyne for bringing this important matter to our attention today in the chamber. Renewal of the Woden town centre is, of course, very important. I think people in Woden and its surrounds are very aware of the fact that various changes have been occurring in Woden—that there has been a change in employment in the area and there has also been significant investment.

However, coming in here to talk about Corinna Street and Bradley Street really does not resolve this problem: if you sat today in Woden town square, you would be embarrassed by what you saw. There is at least one building which seems to have squatters going in and out of it. If you look from the seats in the town square up above the roofs of the shops, there is a row of about 20 windows, all smashed. If you look at eye level, you see shops from one side to the other, up to where the post office begins, that are covered in graffiti. It is unusual that the government would come in here and defend renewal in the Woden town centre while the grass is dead. The square itself is not managed by local developers; it is an ACT government facility, I presume, and the grass is dead. It is a dust bowl. It has not been in a great shape for a long time, but it has taken a major turn for the worse.

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