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A Look around Canberra: Gungahlin

By Alexandra Craig - 12 February 2016 80

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This week I’m heading back up the GDE (or via Northbourne and Flemington Road, depending on which you prefer) to my first hometown in Canberra: Gungahlin. The suburb of Gungahlin is named after the Aboriginal word meaning ‘white man’s house’ or ‘little rocky hill’. It was originally spelt ‘Goongarline’.

I moved here back in 2011 when I was a brand new jellybean to Canberra and thought ’20 minutes seems like a reasonable time to travel to work.’ Unfortunately no one told me about the GDE roadworks (probably because I didn’t know a single soul here) and some days it would take me 45-50+ minutes to get to work. I saw out my 12 month lease and then high-tailed it out of there.

The above paragraph comes with a big ‘however’, because although I moved, I actually didn’t mind Gungahlin. It’s a pretty nice place and I found that most people were generally quite friendly and community oriented. Sadly the same can’t be said for other parts of Canberra that I’ve lived in.

It’s no secret that Gungahlin is booming. I probably head up there every couple of months and am always astounded as to how different it looks to the last time I visited, and even moreso how much it’s changed in the last 5 years. I had zero friends for a period of time after moving here so I used to spend my weekends doing a lot of walking, so I feel like I’ve seen all of Gungahlin on foot. I visited a couple of weeks ago and there’s a giant Bunnings Warehouse smack bang where there was a vacant block what seemed like 3 months ago. It popped up out of nowhere!

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Hibberson Street, the main drag of Gungahlin, is a bit of a hot issue at the moment. Local MLA Meegan Fitzharris is pushing for Hibberson Street to become closed to vehicular traffic, a pedestrian only zone. She ran a survey recently and there was a strong show of support for her proposal. I have to say that I agree, and I think it’s a great idea. That street was quite congested with traffic when I lived around the corner in 2011, and it’s even worse now. I also think closing it off to traffic would open up the possibility of Gungahlin having their very own Sunday markets, and would also allow for the local restaurants to open up more al-fresco dining options.

One of my favourite parts of Gungahlin is Yerrabi Pond. Not only is it a lovely spot for a picnic (there’s also communal BBQs available) or an afternoon walk or cycle with your leashed dog, but it’s also great for kids with a playground and flying fox – I wish I wasn’t too tall for the flying fox!

Quick Stats

Street theme: Industrialists, aspects of industry, and Gungahlin district pioneers.
Federal Electorate: Fraser
Federal MP: Andrew Leigh
Territory Electorate: Molonglo
Population: 5617
Population breakdown: 49.5 per cent male, 50.5 per cent female
Average children per family: 1.8<
Crime: 720 incidents in 2015 (not including traffic infringements)

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What’s Your opinion?


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80 Responses to
A Look around Canberra: Gungahlin
1
OctaviusAugustus 5:41 pm
12 Feb 16
#

Gungahlin town centre is the most depressing place in Canberra. Why must the whole place be painted grey?

2
switch 8:19 am
13 Feb 16
#

OctaviusAugustus said :

Gungahlin town centre is the most depressing place in Canberra. Why must the whole place be painted grey?

When did Belconnen get its makeover? I must have missed it.

3
joingler 7:12 pm
13 Feb 16
#

I don’t like the idea of closing the main street of Gungahlin to all vehicular traffic. I think public transport (including taxis), cyclists and emergency transport only should be free to use it whilst all other traffic gets diverted to Anthony Rolfe or The Valley Way

4
farq 8:50 pm
13 Feb 16
#

I’d live anywhere else in Canberra but Gungahlin.

Gungahlin was the beginning of the end for decent road planning and adequate block sizes in Canberra. The start of the stripping back of everything that made Canberra different, special and a great place to live.

When Labor drags the rest of Canberra down to the standard set by Gungahlin so they can make more money for their developer mates I’m moving to Yass.

Why is it the further from the city (and jobs/shops) you get the smaller the block sizes get? Labor has town planning backwards.

5
JC 11:32 am
14 Feb 16
#

farq said :

I’d live anywhere else in Canberra but Gungahlin.

Gungahlin was the beginning of the end for decent road planning and adequate block sizes in Canberra. The start of the stripping back of everything that made Canberra different, special and a great place to live.

When Labor drags the rest of Canberra down to the standard set by Gungahlin so they can make more money for their developer mates I’m moving to Yass.

Why is it the further from the city (and jobs/shops) you get the smaller the block sizes get? Labor has town planning backwards.

It’s nothing to do with Labor/Liberal or perceived poor planning. The small blocks etc is a reflection of how planning has gone through the whole country over the past 1/4 century and is a reflection of changing demand and the way people use land.

I am a perfect case in point I don’t want a yard the size of the ones my parents had in this day and age.

It’s not for all that’s for sure but long bow to blame a specific political party. Especially when the ‘other’ party has been in power for 8 years on and off during the revolution of Gungahlin and did nothing either. Then again refer to the point above we are just reflecting what is going on elsewhere in our major cities.

6
JC 11:35 am
14 Feb 16
#

joingler said :

I don’t like the idea of closing the main street of Gungahlin to all vehicular traffic. I think public transport (including taxis), cyclists and emergency transport only should be free to use it whilst all other traffic gets diverted to Anthony Rolfe or The Valley Way

Flemmington road should never ever have lead into the town centre like it has. It should have connected to Anthony Rolf Ave and then onto Mirrabai drive. Forming a link to the town centre and the residential sections of the Gungahlin Suburb. And provided a link that avoids the town centre for those west of Gundaroo Drive.

7
rubaiyat 11:49 am
14 Feb 16
#

OctaviusAugustus said :

Gungahlin town centre is the most depressing place in Canberra. Why must the whole place be painted grey?

Really?

You haven’t been down Northbourne Ave in the City, or anywhere in Belconnen, or Tuggeranong Town Centres, nor the up and coming Molonglo?

By comparison to any of those Hibberson Street in Gugahlin is a sheer delight, although in this weather hot as hell due to excessive concrete and bitumen paving.

8
rubaiyat 11:58 am
14 Feb 16
#

farq said :

I’d live anywhere else in Canberra but Gungahlin.

Gungahlin was the beginning of the end for decent road planning and adequate block sizes in Canberra. The start of the stripping back of everything that made Canberra different, special and a great place to live.

When Labor drags the rest of Canberra down to the standard set by Gungahlin so they can make more money for their developer mates I’m moving to Yass.

Why is it the further from the city (and jobs/shops) you get the smaller the block sizes get? Labor has town planning backwards.

You are blaming Labor for Gungahlin which was created by the previous Liberal Government?

But now I have pointed that out, you will of course slam the Liberals!

Or maybe not. 😉

9
Kalliste 12:59 pm
14 Feb 16
#

joingler said :

I don’t like the idea of closing the main street of Gungahlin to all vehicular traffic. I think public transport (including taxis), cyclists and emergency transport only should be free to use it whilst all other traffic gets diverted to Anthony Rolfe or The Valley Way

Agreed. I think it should be public transport only.. or at the least, get rid of the road side parking.

10
wildturkeycanoe 6:44 am
15 Feb 16
#

The things that make Gunners town centre so miserable are firstly, that it is all concrete. The few measly trees in the open spaces don’t make it any less bland due to the uninterrupted grey. There’s no grass, no colour, no life. The second folly is having the shops spread across so many mini malls. To visit all 3 major supermarkets you have to walk a long way, out in the exposed vastness of summer heat or winter rain and wind. That or move the car three times. Pushing a fully loaded trolley across the uneven pavers that stretch between the complexes is downright agony. Then you have to take the trolley all the way back again, adding another kilometer to the exhausting ordeal. It started well with the idwa of the “G”, but adding a small “g”, then an “f” and so on simply ruined the concept of a shopping hub.

11
rommeldog56 9:26 am
15 Feb 16
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

The things that make Gunners town centre so miserable are firstly, that it is all concrete. The few measly trees in the open spaces don’t make it any less bland due to the uninterrupted grey. There’s no grass, no colour, no life.

One has to wonder if the same “planners” responsible for that will also be responsible for approving the developments along the new higher density, infilled tram corridor………

12
pajs 10:14 am
15 Feb 16
#

OctaviusAugustus said :

Gungahlin town centre is the most depressing place in Canberra. Why must the whole place be painted grey?

Careful, you’ll have the Tuggers contingent saying it’s not fair they don’t have the most depressing town centre now.

13
JC 10:47 am
15 Feb 16
#

pajs said :

OctaviusAugustus said :

Gungahlin town centre is the most depressing place in Canberra. Why must the whole place be painted grey?

Careful, you’ll have the Tuggers contingent saying it’s not fair they don’t have the most depressing town centre now.

Must admit reading some of the comments above I thought they were talking about Tuggeranong.

14
montana 10:51 am
15 Feb 16
#

So funny to see all the hate that gunghalin gets on RA, yet the area is always booming with growth. Maybe people are just jealous of the close proximity to Dickson and Civic and EPIC and Mitchell and easy access to Majura park and IKEA and airport and we get to live in our new, modern homes with lock up garage and ensuite as the norm.

I love gungahlin. love the town centre. has all the shops I need.

I like it how its not a huge enclosed mall, it lets you potentially park at the doorstep of where you want to go.

I really dont know why you would want to close hibberson street, traffic seems to flow just fine for me, and cars always have the choice of not going through there if they don’t want to. Pedestrians have 3 crossings they can use, and its a 40k zone so its pretty easy to cross without one.

This might sound strange but i think having traffic pass through there creates an atmosphere for the street side coffee shops. Please dont make us have to drive all the way around a huge block just to get to the other side, those streets will be conjested and create new problems.

Maybe put some pedestrian lights at the woolies crossing, and have left turn only signs at the aust post intersection coming onto hibberson st.

I hear Kmart underground parking will have another 1300 spaces! that is incredible.

oh did i mention the parking is FREE everywhere around here?

15
Charlotte Harper 11:31 am
15 Feb 16
#

Don’t mention it too loudly or someone will realise and put in pay parking!

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