This is our last chance for Gungahlin Town Centre to develop meaningful local employment, or risk being condemned as a dormitory region.
The Labor/Greens coalition has drafted a change to the planning guidance for the Gungahlin Town Centre to remove references to a local employment hub and a campus style business park. Yet more apartment towers at the expense of business and community spaces is not what the community wants.
These planning changes drastically alter the entire region, and what our population can expect from living here. It sends a clear message: Labor/Greens don’t support business growth in Gungahlin.
The response from the government is that they have been busy “spruiking” Gungahlin to potential employers. The time to sit and hope that large employers will establish themselves in Gungahlin has passed. It is time for action.
We need people in the Town Centre.
Actively incentivising business to come to Gungahlin Town Centre
Earlier this year UNSW obtained a peppercorn lease on a Constitution Avenue location from the ACT Government. This secured the development of a new campus because Mr Barr recognises that Canberra’s CBD needs ‘jobs and diverse economic activity’. Gungahlin needs the same, so the same options should be employed here if it is necessary.
At the 2016 election, Labor promised to establish a Smart Work Hub in the Gungahlin Town Centre. They would seek to have the Federal Government as an anchor tenant. This promise has gone unfulfilled, as the Labor/Green coalition abandons local employment in Gungahlin. When we return to the office post-COVID, things are going to look a little different. It’s the perfect opportunity time to revisit this plan.
As well as seeking Federal and Local Government, I would like to cast a wider net. Gungahlin is lacking in certain private services, including psychologists and mental health professionals. We can ensure facilities are suitable to meet these and other needs of Gungahlin.
Gungahlin Traffic and Roads Review (read more)
The Light Rail construction in the Gungahlin Town Centre changed people’s shopping habits. People started avoiding the mess, and businesses suffered.
Some life returned once construction was complete, but not all. People had seen that getting in to and around the Town Centre was more difficult than it had to be. The overall layout is sound and has plenty of potential, but unless we can improve the experience for customers, they will stay away.
I will be calling for a comprehensive Gungahlin Roads and Traffic review. The review will identify problem intersections, traffic flow, wait times, congestion, and safety. Once identified, the review will also provide recommendations to address the entire town centre.
- Reinstate the deleted items of the Precinct Code referring to a strong employment base in Gungahlin.
- Actively motivate, incentivise, and support the private sector to invest in business facilities in Gungahlin Town Centre.
- Facilitate extra parking options in Gungahlin, particularly park-and-ride spots.
- Support existing local businesses to thrive, especially after hardships imposed by Light Rail construction (read more).
- Pursue the promised but not delivered Smart Work Hub in the Gungahlin Town Centre.
- Launch a Gungahlin Roads and Traffic Review with community consultation (read more).