Page 1020 - Week 03 - Thursday, 23 March 2017

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I am going to run out of time, but another thing that I must mention is the Woden festival. This was run from 2007 to 2015. It was funded to a small extent by the ACT government and to a large extent by Woden Community Service. It was a really great thing for the community. I would like to see this continue and funding provided for Woden, as is the case with the other town centres for festivals to bring people together.

Arts is a really important part of any community. Woden does not want to see itself as just a dormitory suburb. A big part of the new draft Territory Plan variation is encouraging more high rise residential development, which is all very well and good, but that cannot be the only thing.

Woden should not be just high rise residential with light rail to take residents to more interesting parts of Canberra. That is not a good future for Woden. That is not the future I would like to see. Arts funding is part of making this a more positive, wonderful place to live in. Yes, light rail is a good idea. We need to work on the consultation.

I will briefly say something about the Territory Plan variation. I think it is really important that this maintains the amenity of the Woden town square. There is a real risk with 12-storey development and 28-storey development around it that the sun may never be seen in winter in Woden town square, which I think would be very regrettable.

I think there is a possibility of some land swaps for potentially better outcomes in Woden town square. If this round table happens in Woden I would hope this would be one of the subjects for discussion, because this is somewhere that government and the private sector can work together. Finally, I would like to say that the idea of building a multi-storey car park in the middle of Woden town square is appalling.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (4.27): I thank Ms Cheyne for bringing this very important matter—the importance of renewal in the Woden town centre—to the Assembly today. As we are hearing today from four of our members here—I am the fourth—everybody acknowledges that there are parts of Woden that are due for renewal and reinvigoration.

As I have said many times in this place, I grew up in south Canberra. I grew up in Kambah. Woden was our closest shopping centre. Tuggeranong did not exist for many, many, many years after I was born. That is showing my age. Woden was the closest major shopping precinct. It was much smaller than it is today. Youngs was the shop of choice.

I clearly remember my mother taking my sister and me into Youngs at the end of school holidays every summer to buy our school uniforms for the year. We also used to go there to buy our good clothes—the clothes you were only allowed to wear when you were going out somewhere special, not to run around and get dirty in. Obviously, we also went there to buy birthday presents for our friends to take to the parties that we were going to.

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