The Chamber hosted Kevin Conolly MP for a special meeting to discuss the recent Precinct Plans.
During the 1.5 hours meeting Mr. Connolly responded to a number of questions raised by members ranging from specific concerns to ideas on cohesive infrastructure implementation. The Member for Riverstone conceded he personally had little power to change the plans however assured the crowd that all submissions are considered by the Department of Planning and offered advice on the best way to achieve the best outcomes.
The Chamber encourages all Members to take this opportunity to voice their opinions, ideas and suggestions on the matter. Tell us what it is that you want!
The need to implement core infrastructure in advance of the proposed developments is obvious to everyone except the state Government.
Riverstone district has roughly 6,000 people. Schofields West is proposing an additional 10,000 residents and that will rise again by another 6,000 when Marsden Park North is complete. Not including population increases though the estates currently underway or new schools and facilities, that's an increase from 6,000 to 22,000 people (almost 4x) at least 3 years BEFORE Bandon Rd bypass and at least 10 years before Garfield Rd. crossing.
There are multiple examples of successful projects where the main arterial and sub-arterials in new suburbs to the North and the South of Canberra. Throughout Bonner, Forde, Casey, Dunlop, Wright and Coombs, by putting in the necessary infrastructure first, the developments were completed sooner with safer work sites that provided benefit to surrounding communities instead of ‘necessary pain’. Coppin Crossing Rd is currently being upgraded in advance of land releases in this corridor.
It seems that (for the most part) everyone is eager for development to happen but local examples have proven that the exact opposite is the case when projects have begun before the transport infrastructure is in place. Traffic required to service new developments are typically large and heavy. They are forced to use roads that were never designed to cope with their weight and the damage they cause is rarely fixed before a project is complete, rather than when needed. And not least, it is frightening to see a b-double turn right from Piccadilly St into Garfield Rd through a red light so quickly the rear trailer lifts.
Implementing transport infrastructure before development on either of the new proposals would mean safer residential roads with less damage. It will alleviate traffic congestion on Garfield Rd. And provide new and existing residents with better access to the Riverstone CBD.
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