GUNGAHLIN residents have called on the ACT Legislative Assembly to suspend all government land sales in the town centre, amidst concerns that more residential spaces would reduce business and employment opportunities in the area.
Next week (May 12) the Suburban Land Agency is set to auction four mixed-use blocks which could see the development of hundreds of new apartments in the town centre.
But a petition from the Gungahlin Community Council to the Legislative Assembly requesting the suspension of any future sales has received more than 200 signatures and has been backed by ACT Greens MLA for Yerrabi Andrew Braddock.
The petition requests that a proposed draft variation to the territory plan, which better represents the Gungahlin community, go before the assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning, Transport and City Services before any future sales are made.
Gungahlin Community Council vice-president Henley Samuel said it’s clear that Gungahlin residents want to see more business, retail and employment opportunities brought to the town centre, rather than residential space.
“Fifty-seven per cent of respondents to our community survey from 2019 said they don’t want to see any more residential buildings in the town centre,” said Mr Samuel.
“Another 28 per cent of people said we need the town centre to be three quarters business and one quarter residential.”
Mr Samuel said the sale of the land for mixed-use sites would provide only minimal business opportunities, such as cafes on ground floors, in comparison to a vast majority of apartments.
“There are a lot of questions that have to be answered and we’re not going to lose anything by waiting to make sure that the government has properly consulted the community ,” he said.
“There is no clear strategy. We are asking the government not to sell off our future.”
Find the petition here.