Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2017) . . Page.. 2065 ..
Woden town centre
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (6.43): Our government is committed to urban renewal in our town centres. I want to update the Assembly today on the government’s recent Woden roundtable and the budget funding in relation to Kambah village.
Woden is a great place to live, but our town centre is in need of urban renewal. It is clear that after years of cuts and relocations to the public service federally, Woden cannot rely purely on public servants for its future. That is why mixed-use development, with people working but also living in the town centre, close to work and public transport, is so important.
The master plan and the Territory Plan variations provide this vision. They were out for comment until 2 June, which provided an opportunity for a discussion, as we have seen, about Woden’s renewal, though this is only the start of the Woden renewal project.
The investment in light rail stage 2 from the city to Woden is going to provide more opportunities to drive this sort of urban renewal, just as it has along Northbourne Avenue. As we speak, community consultation on this project is currently underway on the route, alignment and light rail stops. Just over the past week we have seen the proposal for a transit-oriented development at 15 Bowes Street, next to the Woden bus interchange, which would see more people living next to our quality public transport system.
I am also pleased that the government funded the development of an urban renewal strategy around light rail in the budget yesterday. Our growing city means there are huge opportunities in Woden to have more people living in the town centre core, but if we are going to have more people living there, we need to consider how we make sure the spaces are a place for people and families to live, not just work.
That is why I called on the government to host a roundtable on Woden’s renewal back in March. It is important that everyone who has a stake in Woden is involved in the opportunities and works together as we build urban renewal in Woden, especially as there is a role for both the government and private business and the community in this renewal and the benefits that come with it.
Following the Chief Minister’s agreement to the roundtable in the Assembly, the meeting took place on 25 May in the new ACT health building, itself quite symbolic of the change the government is leading in Woden. The commercial building at 6 Bowes Street has recently been upgraded to a modern office space. It can accommodate up to 750 public servants who we have moved to Woden in the Health Directorate. This is in addition to the 300 that we have moved into Access Canberra’s Cosmopolitan building.
At the roundtable, there was a robust discussion amongst participants about Woden’s future. I am pleased to say that by bringing together key stakeholders, ranging from