20 September 2016

Business owners call for an end to Phillip neglect

| Robert Issell
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rubbish bin

Many business owners in Phillip believe the ACT Government has neglected the precinct while other areas of the capital flourish with publicly funded support, Phillip Business Community President Robert Issell says.

Businesses in Phillip feel that our area has been left behind, ignored and neglected by successive ACT Governments for too long. The Government’s focus seems to be on the new areas like Gungahlin and Molonglo to the detriment to older more established areas.

The Business Community of Phillip was established in February 2015 to give it a voice to initiate change and unite the Community for better outcomes.

We have been working towards a much more united community over the past 18 months.

The landlords in Phillip pay millions in rates and our Businesses contribute significantly to GST income and other taxes there is very little evidence of a plan to improve services in the area.

The gardens are neglected (what gardens, one could ask), rubbish bins do not exist except for this one found in Colbee Court, footpaths are breaking up and rubbish can be seen building up in many corners of our streets and parks.

cracked footpaths

There is not one flower in sight and no plans to help Phillip blossom once again.

Recently the ACT Government wanted to install parking meters and cause more pain and suffering to the hard working employees and business owners of Phillip. Thankfully they have put their plans on hold for the time being due to a rethink of their decision following a very loud outcry and many petitions presented to them by the Phillip Business Community.

broken drains

Neglected and forgotten seems to be the complaints coming from most who work in Phillip. It is not the vibrant and actively inviting place it used to be.

Workers and Business owners are fed up with lack of care given to our area.

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creative_canberran7:28 pm 22 Sep 16

bj_ACT said :

The Triangle area of Phillip, Erindale & Kambah Village have been totally ignored by ACT Labor for many years.

So you missed the Tuggeranong-Erindale Masterplans Labor released, which includes a major rejuvenation in Erindale of Gartside St?

Mordd / Chris Richards3:57 am 22 Sep 16

I live 5 minutes walk away from here and am in the area quite often on foot, not driving, so I know most of it pretty well. It is suffering severe neglect, it reminds me of Fyshwick more than anywhere else in Canberra, which is fine for a largely industrial/wholesale region as Fyshwick is, not complaining about that, but Phillip is a retail/commercial space next to 1 of the 4 major town centres in Canberra.

Let’s break this down into Components. First of all, the Town Centres were an integral part of Walter Burlery Griffins design plan for Canberra, designed to be mini-CBD’s for those not near the city, as Canberra was designed to be so spread out. They have developed well in that capacity in some areas of Canberra (northside) but not as well in other areas (southside). They all deserve special attention and funding from the Government, as they play a significant role in the function of Canberra itself as a city.

Belconnen was comparable years ago, before they moved the bus interchange, redesigned the shopping centre, and demolished or renovated or re-purposed some of the surrounding buildings / land and is now a fairly good example of how a town centre in Canberra should function. Gunghalin I think has been fairly well designed from the beginning in this regards, and will do quite well as it continues to grow. Tuggeranong and Woden on the other hand, are not functioning as well as they could or should be.

So what is the problems with the southside centres?
1. They both have 2 semi-separated areas/zones that are not properly connected pedestrian wise or integrated together to make people want to go from 1 area to the other.
2. In both, the non-shopping centre parts are severely neglected, and not very well designed from the beginning either. They are concrete wastelands with token struggling to grow grass patches virtually devoid of any shrubbery compared to most of Canberra.
3. The current mix of businesses in the non-mall sections of both are not ideal at the moment in my opinion either, mainly due to the access issues and neglect in points 1 & 2 leading to certain types of tenants not wanting to be in those areas currently.

What is required is not just a makeover, but a wholescale planning design change for Woden and Tuggeranong centres as a whole, to address issues 1 and 2, which will then fix 3. This will not be cheap, as the current layout is far from ideal, and will require creative solutions, but just like LR, this does not mean it should not be done, nor that we cannot afford it either. Tuggeranong is getting some improvement to address the access issues, but there are still major problems that will remain that are not being addresses. Woden is undergoing renovations of the bus interchange at the moment, but Phillip itself needs a major overhaul and some serious work done on both issues 1 & 2.

BenjaminRose19917:17 pm 21 Sep 16

Phillip is a real headscratcher. How exactly would anyone make the area better in the long term? Redone footpaths and rubbish collection is one thing but Phillip really needs a long term rethink. Phillip can be in one of two states: traffic nightmare or dead zone. Journey south of Botany St on the weekend and you’ll be lucky to see a soul especially on Sundays.

The area needs something to anchor the area better. Fresh food market? Large standalone department store?

Phillip is just another area in Canberra not getting standard upkeep/maintenance. Such issues should not have to be raised by local communities simply to receive what should already be standard and uniform across Canberra.
I would like to see a complete audit of ACT municipal services, as I cannot believe what we do NOT get for the rates we pay compared to, for example, a Western Sydney council area or Queanbeyan.

pink little birdie2:50 pm 20 Sep 16

The Grass area’s in the courts are ideal for playgrounds.
In my opinion all shopping areas in Canberra need an outdoor playground closer to them. And Phillip has a bunch of music, dance, tutoring places as well as a toy shop and craft stores which attract families.
Tuggeranong – somewhere east of Anketell street. (closest is the town park about 1.5km’s away)
Woden – in the square where the fountain used to be – It was way busier when it was a fountain as opposed to the park (closest playground is the park opposite Canberra College)
Civic – City walk (closest park is Glebe park but due to the layout you have to walk around carparks to get there)
Belconnen – Margaret Timpson park or where the old Belconnen fire and ambulance stations used to be (Closest is the park off Joyton smith Drive by the lake/ If you don’t count the small suburban playgrounds in Totterdell street)
Gungahlin – on that wide road between the Big W building and the Coles buildings or buy the Library (I have no idea where the closest playground is)

The Triangle area of Phillip, Erindale & Kambah Village have been totally ignored by ACT Labor for many years. The few bits of development have been ad-hoc and very cheap work by private developers. When you consider the Government money pumped into other shopping districts around Canberra it is little wonder that Phillip traders are complaining.

crackerpants12:18 pm 20 Sep 16

As a frequent “user” of Phillip, I agree with you. Unfortunately, when it comes to municipal services, I suspect Phillip will have to get in line with everywhere else.

I do think there’s a way to help Phillip become more…I don’t know, I guess I have to use the word “vibrant” (ew). And that is to improve the connection between Woden and Phillip, particularly for pedestrians. It is such a short distance, and Hindmarsh Dr is easy enough to cross. I usually park in Phillip for kids’ activities, walk across to Woden for fruit and veg, then back to pick up whatever else we might need in Phillip.

But Botany St is very, very difficult to cross safely with kids in tow. The street regularly backs up at the roundabout in the late afternoons with gym-goers having to dodge between cars, and mums with kids having to find a parking spot to avoid crossing it at all. Likewise Corinna St in Woden, west of Ball St where Westfield is, is a similar dodgem experience with a lot of carpark traffic. The narrow alleys between buildings along Hindmarsh also adds to the feeling of disconnect.

Greater connection through increased pedestrian access would improve the outlook for Phillip as a whole – IMO.

Yeah – very run down, like many other areas in Canberra now.

I’m sure the pay parking will be back on the agenda after the October election if ACT Labor/Greens are voted back though.

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