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GCC Budget Submission 2020-21

The ACT government conducts an annual consultation process as part of the formulation of the budget for the upcoming financial year. The GCC’s submission for the 2020-21 year highlighted transport infrastructure and the need to attract more employment to Gungahlin, particularly in the town centre.

Executive Summary

PRIORITIES

  1. Further investments are required to alleviate over-crowding on Light Rail, to complete the duplication of all of Horse Park Drive (between Roden Cutler Drive and Gungahlin Drive), and to undertake a review and analysis of the road network within Gungahlin to ensure it will meet the needs of the completed district.
  2. The GCC is seeking the ACT government’s support to develop a unique value proposition and incentives to create substantial employment opportunities in Gungahlin

IMPORTANT

  1. The GCC asks that the ACT government prioritise the activation of the Yerrabi Pond area by providing rubbish bins and lighting, and improving maintenance, of this heavily used park.
  2. Additional Light Rail services need to be provided to capture the demand being presented by Gungahlin residents. Investments are also needed to improve the usability of Light Rail, including bike and ride and kiss and ride facilities at the Gungahlin terminus.
  3. The new bus network has significantly degraded services between Gungahlin and Belconnen. This needs to be addressed.
  4. The GCC asks that government provide midwife services at the Gungahlin Walk-In Health Centre consistent with the very young family demographic of the Gungahlin district.

Introduction

This submission to the 2020-21 ACT budget process is on behalf of the Gungahlin Community Council (GCC). It is informed through the activities of the GCC, including public meetings, newsletters, social media and face to face dialogues, and through the expertise, knowledge and experience of the GCC executive[1].

Priorities

As might be expected in an area that is growing rapidly[2] [3], the provision of adequate transport and services are the issues of greatest importance for Gungahlin residents and hence the GCC.

Like all the suburban greenfield districts of Canberra, Gungahlin has undergone over twenty years of continuous construction and development. At different stages some of the basic infrastructure to support this development has lagged, notably between about 2005-2015 when the capacity of the Gungahlin arterial road network was inadequate. Since this period, there have been significant investments in the transport infrastructure to service Gungahlin, including the (partial) duplication of Horse Park Drive, the (ongoing) duplication of Gundaroo Drive and the construction of Light Rail.

These investments have greatly improved transport to and from Gungahlin, but further investments are required to alleviate over-crowding on Light Rail, to complete the duplication of all of Horse Park Drive (between Roden Cutler Drive and Gungahlin Drive) [1], and to undertake a review and analysis of the road network within Gungahlin to ensure it will meet the needs of the completed district. This review should include examining better synchronisation of traffic lights and the duplication/addition of slips lanes on

  • Clarrie Hermes Drive [2],
  • Gungahlin Drive West of Gundaroo Drive [3],
  • Mirrabei Drive [4], and
  • Gundaroo Drive North of Mirrabei Drive [5].

Further, Gungahlin faces a unique challenge compared to other districts. Although Gungahlin will begin 2020 with a population of approximately 80,000 – the third largest district in Canberra (after Belconnen and Tuggeranong) and roughly the same size as North and South Canberra combined – there are proportionally very few jobs located in Gungahlin[1]. This places significant strain on transport infrastructure, reduces the amenity and accessibility of Gungahlin, and dampens the development of businesses and services within the Gungahlin region. This issue will not be addressed through a “wait and see” approach based on standard market forces.

The GCC is seeking the ACT government’s support to develop a unique value proposition and incentives to create substantial employment opportunities in Gungahlin. The objective would be to generate a return on the investment in Gungahlin generally, and on investments like Light Rail specifically, and to capture the opportunity of the remaining greenfield development opportunities. Proposed changes to the Gungahlin Town Centre Precinct Code (Draft Variation 364[1]), that reduce the amount of space available for commercial/core developments undermine this goal.

Important Issues

Activation of Public Spaces

Gungahlin has a number of green, open and community spaces that are underused because of a lack of maintenance and utility. This includes the lack of rubbish bins and the services to empty them, adequate lighting to ensure public safety and adequate parking to enable access to these areas. The GCC asks that the ACT government prioritise the activation of the Yerrabi Pond area by providing rubbish bins and lighting, and improving maintenance, of this heavily used park.

Public Transport

The Light Rail services has proven to be extremely popular and is now very congested in the early morning. Additional Light Rail services need to be provided to capture the demand being presented by Gungahlin residents. Investments are also needed to improve the usability of Light Rail are required, including bike and ride and kiss and ride facilities at the Gungahlin terminus.

The new bus network has significantly degraded services between Gungahlin and Belconnen. This needs to be addressed.

Health Care

The GCC asks that government provide midwife services at the Gungahlin Walk-In Health Centre consistent with the very young family demographic of the Gungahlin district.

 

Peter Elford

President, GCC

1st November, 2019

[1] https://www.planning.act.gov.au/planning-our-city/territory_plan/draft_variations_to_the_territory_plan

[1] There is very little specific data readily available to support this observation, but based on a simple count of office buildings it’s clearly true.

[1] Appendix A

Gungahlin Community Council 2018-19
President, Peter Elford
Vice President, Henley Samuel
Secretary, Sharee Schultz
Treasurer, David Pollard
Public Officer Ke, vin Cox
General Committee, Prasad Tipireni
General Committee, Ralitsa Dimitrova
General Committee, Darron Marks
General Committee, Luke Hadfield

[2] https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/5992052/canberra-population-sprints-past-420000-new-figures-show/

[3] https://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1305581/ACT-Population-Projections-Paper-FINAL.pdf

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The Gungahlin Community Council receives support and funding from the ACT Government

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