Page 3402 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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announcement about the Woden Tradies closing. It, of course, also provides community meeting rooms as well.

In the Molonglo region the government is continuing to build a world-class recreational precinct. In the budget I was very pleased to see an investment of $200,000 to help fund improvements at Stromlo district park, soon to be the new home of the container village, to refresh the area. Many Canberrans will use this space on weekends and during the week. This is fantastic for the Molonglo Valley, which is growing fast. In the past five years it has been one of the fastest growing suburban areas in the country. In 2020 it will house almost 2½ thousand additional dwellings, according to the budget papers.

The Molonglo Valley does need more schools, more community facilities and more dwellings. The budget delivers in all these areas. But it also requires more road infrastructure to meet the growing needs of the population. There is almost a million dollars in total for early planning works on the extension to Bindubi Street, upgrade to William Hovell Drive and funding for early work on a new major road, which is the east-west arterial road which will connect John Gorton Drive to the Tuggeranong Parkway and provide a new important connection directly into the Molonglo Valley. I look forward to work on that piece of infrastructure progressing and the consultations associated with that.

Lastly, in the lead-up to light rail stage 2, Woden is going to become a public transport hub in the same way as Greenway and Belconnen are right now. The government is investing in a new bus depot in Phillip which will accommodate up to 120 buses, including undercover parking, administrative facilities and offices, maintenance, refuelling and bus washing facilities. This will create more local jobs over the course of the construction and operation of the project.

The depot will also help to augment the government’s expanding bus network which also received additional funding in the budget, particularly the new black rapid service from Gungahlin to Belconnen and the new green rapid service which will support more people to get from Woden to the hospital, over Hindmarsh Drive to Barton, Manuka and through to the city every 15 minutes. I certainly encourage members of the community to use that service, particularly as it will be free for the first few months.

In conclusion, I stand here today to support the government’s budget. It is delivering on Labor’s commitment, which we brought to the election, to build a better city, whether improving our group centres, designing and building new road infrastructure or building an integrated transport system for our growing city. The government is investing in better suburbs, including on the south side, and I commend the budget to the Assembly.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Total appropriated to territory entities—agreed to.

Treasurer’s advance—Part 1.20.

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