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Tuggeranong – The dormitory of the ACT

By John Hargreaves - 28 July 2014 34

tuggeranong

I’ve lived and loved Tuggers for decades and started asking why we were treated less than other parts of Canberra way back when. I still haven’t had a satisfactory answer.

Before anyone bags me and other Tuggeranongites for whingeing consider the following.

Belco has the same (roughly) population as Tuggers. Yet it has a large well patronized shopping centre, two large swimming complexes, an vibrant industrial precinct, a university, a large CIT campus) a hospital (and soon a second one at UC), a large stadium and a lake. It also has a sizeable public sector presence.

The middle bit of Canberra has two central shopping precincts, a university, a hospital, a stadium (Phillip Oval), a large CIT campus, three industrial precincts (four if you count Hume which is not in Tuggeranong) and a lake. It too has a sizeable public sector presence. It is conceded that this part of Canberra has a population twice that of Tuggeranong.

I haven’t counted Gungahlin because it is still young and I haven’t counted Weston Creek because it has a population one third that of Tuggeranong.

Tuggeranong has a struggling shopping centre, a minor industrial precinct, a swimming complex and a small time stadium (Greenway Oval). It also has a sizeable public sector presence. Oh.. and a lake.

Whoops! Am I missing something here? No hospital, no university, no decent CIT presence, no vibrant private sector, a struggling major shopping centre.

This is because, historically, Tuggeranong has been regarded by many as the dormitory suburbs of Canberra feeding the workforce of elsewhere in the Capital. Folks live here, but work elsewhere.

The notion that there could be further housing development west of the Murrumbidgee is a bit ill conceived. It was debunked in the early 2000s because of the lack of job opportunities for those moving in.

Attention must be given to the economic health of the Valley before bringing in more people. We need a private sector economic food chain to balance the dependence on the public service pay packet.

As James Carville, campaign adviser to Bill Clinton in 1992 said: “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Until a strategy to bring job opportunities to the Valley has been developed and implemented; until the Valley has the facilities that the other parts of Canberra have, further housing development should be resisted.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Tuggeranong – The dormitory of the ACT
1
cmdwedge 10:08 am
28 Jul 14
#

Because they tend to vote Liberal, and Labor tends to run the ACT. Why spend money on an area that you’re not going to win electorally?

That was easy. Next question?

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2
Maya123 11:32 am
28 Jul 14
#

“Tuggeranong has a struggling shopping centre, a minor industrial precinct, a swimming complex and a small time stadium (Greenway Oval). It also has a sizeable public sector presence. Oh.. and a lake.”
That must mean that the local Tuggeranong people are not patronising the shopping centre. Only the locals can be blamed for that. Patronise it and it will improve. A minor industrial precinct. Does that comment mean you want to live beside a bigger industrial area? A swimming complex. Lucky you. There is no inside heated pool near me. Stadium. I am so pleased that where I live (in more central Canberra) we don’t have one. So condolences for that one.

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3
pierce 11:57 am
28 Jul 14
#

Who are you asking to fix the problem of a “struggling shopping centre” – the government? How – mandate local shopping?

What steps did you take to improve the lot of Tuggeranongers while in office? Were you actively obstructed?

On the plus side, you’re getting a decent CIT campus next year.

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4
Kalliste 12:33 pm
28 Jul 14
#

.. Is the ‘middle bit’ of Canberra all of the city, Kingston, Manuka, etc and all of Woden? I wouldn’t really consider a hospital in Woden being a decent distance for someone that lives in Reid, for example.

And with the other commentors, if people don’t use the Hyperdome then how is that the North and ‘Middle bits’ fault?

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5
Madam Cholet 12:46 pm
28 Jul 14
#

I agree that Tuggers is largely ignored by the Labor government as the residents tend to vote Liberal, however the shopping centre has been relatively recently upgraded – both outside in terms of cafes and eateries which always seem busy, and inside with the old Myer area being renovated and leased to new stores. There’s also new larger shops up the other end of the Hyperdome – Lincraft and the new pet shop place. Maybe people in Tuggers like to shop online these days?

We are also the lucky recipients of a myriad of road upgrades/duplications right now, although the biggest shame is the lack of attention to the Tuggers parkway which has become a crash-fest.

We have a library and we have pools. We have buses which take people to their jobs in the city. We have federal government departments. From memory, the ACT education Dept moved to Tuggers but everyone whinged so much that they sent them back into town.

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6
miz 1:25 pm
28 Jul 14
#

Gunners has less than half the population of Tuggers. There are 90,000 Canberrans in Tuggers and we are Very Ripped Off. And Pierce, the pseudo CIT we are supposedly getting is not going to have the hospitality kitchens or horticultural facilities that are actually needed-people will still have to go to Reid or Bruce.
As a parent I used to get truly fed up with having to get my daughter to Reid and going to uni at Bruce myself during the week, then spending all weekend driving my children to sport at Bruce, Hawker, Lyneham etc. As someone has pointed out before, Tuggers is as large, nay larger, than Wagga but with nothing like the services available in Wagga.

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7
arescarti42 1:49 pm
28 Jul 14
#

I’m not sure what you’re whinging about, seems like a serious case of ‘grass is always greener on the other side’ syndrome.

Where exactly is Belconnen’s industrial precinct? Mitchell?

What exactly do you want done about the struggling Hyperdome? Force people to shop there? Close down Westfield Woden?

Bringing up the fact that Belconnen has a hospital and Tuggeranong doesn’t is stupid. The ACT only has two public Hospitals serving the entire city, and Bruce/Garran are central to Canberra’s North and South respectively. Tuggeranong is not.

As Madam Cholet points out, there’s a plethora of road upgrades and investment going on at the moment, and as pierce notes, there’s a new CIT coming next year. Both are pretty remarkable considering that the population of Tuggeranong is falling.

On Jobs, the Department of Social services is already headquartered there, despite a more central location making more sense.

Seriously, what’s your problem?

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8
Maya123 1:50 pm
28 Jul 14
#

miz said :

As someone has pointed out before, Tuggers is as large, nay larger, than Wagga but with nothing like the services available in Wagga.

Yes, but if Wagga didn’t have these services, they would have to drive a lot further than Reid.
I grew up in country towns. We had no services compared to what is available in Canberra. The whine about no services in Canberra is just that, a whine.

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9
pajs 3:21 pm
28 Jul 14
#

Not really much of a hike from Tuggers to Woden though, is it?

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10
HiddenDragon 6:14 pm
28 Jul 14
#

“Attention must be given to the economic health of the Valley before bringing in more people. We need a private sector economic food chain to balance the dependence on the public service pay packet.” – that’s a serious issue for the whole of Canberra, not just Tuggeranong.

One opportunity for Tuggeranong may be increased development of housing, reasonably close to the town centre, which is attractive to down-sizers and retirees – and not just those who need a small apartment to spend some time in when they’re not travelling the world. This would be consistent with one of the claimed intentions of the new rates/land tax system and with land values in Tuggeranong still relatively low, there’s the potential for affordable options for people who feel they are being squeezed out of other areas. For people who are retired, or perhaps now only doing part-time or periodic work, commuting to other parts of Canberra should not be such an issue.

Just on a point of detail, the Hyperdome may be struggling, but for most practical, day-to-day shopping purposes, it actually compares quite well with Civic, Woden and Belconnen in terms of the range of shops and accessability.

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11
miz 6:27 pm
28 Jul 14
#

It’s not ‘whining’ when there is genuinely an uneven distribution of infrastructure and services.

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12
miz 6:29 pm
28 Jul 14
#

It’s not ‘whining’ when there is a genuinely uneven distribution of infrastructure and services.

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13
Raging Tempest 7:05 pm
28 Jul 14
#

People don’t shop at Tuggeranong because its full of cheap tat $2 shops. No Myer, DJs or quality clothes or shoe shops. So we go to Woden, which is only marginally better, or Civic. As long as the owners insist on driving it into the ground and treating the locals like poor bogans, it will be shunned in favour of other places.

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14
wildturkeycanoe 8:35 pm
28 Jul 14
#

“Tuggeranong has a struggling shopping centre” – What makes it struggle? Looking at retail shops available for lease in Tuggers there isn’t exactly an abundance or oversupply of vacant shops compared with any other area of Canberra.
“a minor industrial precinct” – So you call Hume, less than 5km away from the main shopping center a minor industrial area? Belconnen has similar with Mitchell and Central Canberra has Fyshwick. Size for size, the commercial area of Tuggeranong is pretty much the same as Belconnen too.

“Whoops! Am I missing something here? No hospital” – Yes, but Canberra Hospital services the area the same way Calvary services west Belconnen and all of Gungahlin.
“no university, no decent CIT presence” – Unfortunately the Territory Plan has left you with no space suitable for such, so there isn’t any way to solve it without the government re-zoning some natural reserves for Community Facilities. Perhaps the westward expanse could be a learning precinct?
“no vibrant private sector, a struggling major shopping centre.” – Again, I wonder what the evidence and reason is for this. Every time I have been at the Hyperdome, it has been pretty full of people. At least you have a Big W. Perhaps because the local shops are so far from any competition, customers are held to ransom with higher prices, thus causing a decline in business? Just a thought.

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15
JC 8:41 pm
28 Jul 14
#

miz said :

It’s not ‘whining’ when there is genuinely an uneven distribution of infrastructure and services.

So what exactly is missing that makes sense to be in Tuggeranong?

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