There are growing concerns that Gungahlin’s infamous traffic tangles will be replicated in the new district of Molonglo, which will eventually contain 45,000 to 50,000 people and not have any major employment.
Weston Creek Community Council has outlined the concerns in its 2018-19 Budget submission, which also warns about infrastructure delays and calls on the Government to bring forward plans for the Molonglo Group Centre and the bridge across the Molonglo River.
Chair Tom Anderson said that with the ACT Government not planning any employment at the Molonglo Group Centre, jobs will be limited to retail and commercial businesses.
“So what will happen is that it will become a dormitory district, the same as Gungahlin, with almost everyone leaving to go to work at the same time,” Mr Anderson said.
He said that at present there were only two ways out of Molonglo – Coppins Crossing and Cotter Road – and the bridge across the Molonglo River at Coppins Crossing was not earmarked for another four years.
“They’ve already started on Whitlam, and more and more traffic flows that way, and they’ve all got to go across Coppins Crossing. Heaven forbids when the Molonglo floods and that’s closed with the numbers of people there,” Mr Anderson said.
Despite the duplication of Cotter Road, congestion was still a problem and it was only going to get worse as Molonglo’s population grows.
“You’ll have the equivalent of what’s in Gungahlin leaving for work, and you can see all the issues with traffic there.That’s the same sort of thing that’s going to happen in Molonglo,” Mr Anderson said.
Mr Anderson said the Group Centre was also four years away when the population is expected to reach the Government’s target of 15,000.
“My concern is that when we hit that target figure then they’ll work on getting it built whereas my view is that when you get to that number it should already be built,” he said.
He said the Coombs shops were still not open as rumours swirled about its future, while the Denman Prospect shops were months away and there had not been any development application for the proposed mixed development and supermarket in Wright.
A gym and coffee shop has opened in Coombs. “It’s the first place where you can buy something in Molonglo,” Mr Anderson said.
The Council also wants the Government to bring forward plans for years 7 to 10 in the K to 10 school planned for Denman Prospect and start development of the sports fields proposed for the eastern edge of the Stromlo Forest Park.
It also wants new community and health centres in the Weston Group Centre, with Weston Creek marking its 50th anniversary this year.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you share the same concerns as the Council? Let us know by commenting below.