Page 5309 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 29 November 2017

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Housing for Canberra’s growing homeless population, a community centre for youths or the elderly. Or maybe something incredibly creative, like the New York City Highline (a repurposed freight line now turned into parkland).

It is great to see that business and industry are responding to the community in this respect. Four major new developments are currently planned or are under construction in Woden town centre, including the proposed repurposing of the Alexander and Albemarle buildings into residential use next year. There is the proposed mixed use development on the Woden Tradies site called WOVA. A transit-oriented development is proposed next to the bus interchange at 15 Bowes Street, which is under consideration by ACTPLA, and the Ivy apartments are under construction on Irving Street.

Canberra is home to some of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Australia. However, Woden’s Sky Plaza is probably the antithesis of good design. It is no surprise, therefore, that 40 per cent of all survey respondents called for better quality development and architecture in Woden. Many respondents shared the views of Mandy from Hughes, who wrote that “innovative architecture and quality developments incorporating both design and the arts” are needed for Woden. Other respondents like Claire from Lyons suggested the need for “inviting commercial space like the Hamlet in Braddon”. Janine from Duffy also mentioned that the impressive local design and urban planning achievements of the NewActon precinct would be good for Woden.

It is clear that the majority of respondents want to see Woden become part of the exciting changes that are making our city the “cool little capital”. I take that very seriously, Mrs Dunne. It is promising that GEOCON’s WOVA precinct will be designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects and Oculus urban design, the team behind the award winning NewActon precinct. If more people are going to be living and working in the town centre, public and green spaces become more important. I note that 36.6 per cent of all respondents to my survey called for more parks and green spaces in the town centre. Many shared the views of Nicole from Mawson in this area, who wrote that “further effort on the street appeal and outdoor adjoining spaces is essential to address the overall appearance of Woden”.

The government will continue to support Woden’s regeneration. Growing commercial confidence in the future of Woden is being reinforced by robust ACT government initiatives to support Woden’s regeneration. Of course, our commitment to bring light rail to Woden is growing confidence in the town centre and its regeneration as well. The ACT government has also responded to federal Liberal government cuts to the public service by bringing over 1,000 ACT government public servants in Access Canberra and Health to Woden. We have also invested in the redevelopment of Phillip oval, which has transformed the precinct. I was very pleased to attend the opening of the new Cricket ACT centre there with the Deputy Chief Minister. Yvette Berry, last week.

I look forward to seeing the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Renewal inquiry into the proposed Territory Plan variation 344, which has

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