Page 796 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 21 March 2017

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Mr Barr interjecting

MR HANSON: You will have to do better than that, Andrew. Minister, why have you persisted with policies to the point that this area, Woden town centre, has become so run down?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. It is quite pertinent to see the work that we are doing across the ACT, but in particular for Woden, in the master planning process. It is quite interesting to see the comments from Woden residents on what is occurring in other parts of Canberra, asking if it could come to Woden, and that is what we would like to deliver. We have been working strongly with the Woden community council—

Members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, we are not even 30 seconds into the answer. Can we allow the minister to at least answer the question you have asked.

MR GENTLEMAN: As I said, we have been working strongly with the Woden Valley Community Council. They have played a strong role in contributing to the development of the master plan and have supported a number of the key recommendations of the master plan and the vision set for the future of Woden as well. So I am pleased to be able to see that we have engaged well with the community and that we will be delivering that master planning program with a view to refreshing Woden and bringing greater opportunities for residents to have a better—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, a point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Hanson.

Mr Hanson: It is on relevance. The question went to the point of why the Woden town centre has become so run down. It is less about what might be happening with the master plan sometime in the future. To the point: why is it so run down?

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, can you resume your seat. Minister.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you. To answer Mr Hanson’s pertinent question—it has been answered across the chamber—the commonwealth has withdrawn quite a number of agencies, a number of employment options, in the Woden area, causing, of course, a lack of opportunity for employment and a lack of opportunity for diversity for people to rent their premises at the same time. That affects the smaller businesses as well, not just those large accommodation opportunities but the smaller ones too. (Time expired.)

MR HANSON: Minister, why have you not improved the maintenance program for this public realm?

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