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.