28 May 2024

Top 7 things Tuggeranong needs, as chosen by you

| James Coleman
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runner on lake Tuggeranong

The lake doesn’t smell as bad if you run faster. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

It has a reputation as the land the ACT Government forgot. And there seems to be some truth to the perception – at least from many locals.

A few years after it poured a lot of concrete down Anketell Street in the town centre, the ACT Government is redoing the Lake Tuggeranong foreshore to “create a more liveable, people-focussed and active space for the Tuggeranong community to enjoy”.

There’ll be new timber decking along the waterfront, widened and repaved paths, new trees and furniture and two new accessible facilities to replace the dilapidated public toilet.

Unfortunately, this also means the iconic ‘fort’ playground – with its big and slightly scary metal insects – is no more, but it will be replaced with a climbing tower, swing, double flying fox, climber rope, balance challenge, sand digger and boulders.

Construction is expected to be complete in a couple of months.

But this got us thinking: What else does Tuggeranong need to become great?

rotted fort at Tuggeranong Park playground

It’s goodbye to the old Tuggeranong ‘fort’. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

There were calls on the Canberra Notice Board Group on Facebook a few weeks ago for the Homeworld tower to be heritage-listed. Region contacted the owners twice about this – and when the iconic blue light might return to its top – but received no reply.

So we went to the people, via a post on The Canberra Page. And here’s some of what we got back …

KFC on fire

KFC Tuggeranong on fire, 25 October 2023. Photo: Murray Charlton.

1. KFC

It’s been more than 200 days since Tuggeranong lost a KFC to call its own when a fire erupted in the kitchen on 25 October 2023 and gutted the place. It’s since been demolished, but there’s no word on when finger-lickin’ chicken is coming back. So maybe we should have a backup … in Chisholm?

READ MORE Did somebody say KFC at Chisholm shops? Dear NIMBYs, don’t ruin this one

2. Chemist Warehouse

The closest you’ll get to walking through aisles too narrow for humans while picking up hair products, scripts and other assorted cosmetic goodies for cheap is Woden, although some Tuggeranonganites swear by the Discount Drug Store in South.Point.

3. Public transport

Buses are a bone of contention for Tuggeranong; specifically, how few and far between they are.

“More electric buses and better express services that actually service suburbs and can be focussed on high demand areas would be better suited,” one comment read.

“As long as the journey to Civic is faster than riding a bike, but it isn’t. And there are no plans for it either,” another read.

It’d be nice if we could see light rail sometime this century too.

Graffitied wall

Richardson Shops … looking good. Photo: Joy Burch.

4. Richardson Shops

The shopping precinct along Clift Crescent has been a boarded-up haunt for people up to no good since the IGA supermarket moved out in 2019, followed by the hairdressing salon in 2022.

The owners have since told Region they’re “currently negotiating with prospective tenants for the site and are excited with the possibilities”, but it’s not happening fast enough for most.

5. Ice rink

“ROLLER SKATING RINK!” This one turned up again and again in the comments.

It is coming.

The $16.2 million project will be called the ‘Canberra Arena’, and located on Rowland Rees Crescent in Greenway. The ACT Government hopes to attract international teams to two ice sheets for figure skating, broomball, speed skating and ice hockey.

There will be space for 3600 spectators and also an indoor rock-climbing facility for all three Olympic disciplines of lead, speed and bouldering.

render of ice sports facility

Artist’s impression of the Tuggeranong ice rink. Image: ACT Government.

The due date is 2025, but there’s still tumbleweed blowing across the construction site.

“Need more cafes and restaurants that actually stay open at night after 9 pm … things for young adults to do, roller skating ring be good too,” another comment read.

Which brings us to our next point …

6. More nightlife

“A night club, something like the Basement – some sort of nightlife other than the Vikings,” a commenter wrote.

“Better bars.”

“Restaurants, cafes, and maybe a classy bar with lake frontage instead of Maccas and burnt-out KFC fast food establishments.”

Or, how about one commenter’s shopping list: “Costco, Spotlight, go-kart track, putt-putt, nightclubs, more events in the park, concerts/music in the afternoon, food events, BBQs.”

We’ve seen this transformation in the heart of Woden in recent years. It seems it’s high time Tuggeranong received the same treatment.

READ ALSO A ‘nightmare to plant’ but this year’s arty Floriade set to be blooming fantastic

7. “Nothing! Can’t improve on perfection”

We appreciate your spirit, Mark.

8. Honourable mentions

  • Sanitation
  • A hospital
  • A new skate park
  • Athllon Drive duplication
  • Water jets in the lake “to make it look less like a murky, skanky germ-ridden swamp”
  • Cycle path along the Monaro Highway
  • Fewer “red-shoed mullet-wearing flogs”
  • Levelling [that’s not nice]
  • A giant statue of an owl.

Have we missed anything?

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As former Labor Ministers and Powerbrokers have commented “Tuggeranong is not where ACT Elections are won or lost”. ACT Labor can happily tread water in Tuggeranong assured of at least two seats in the Assembly.

Greens representatives only last one term and never do anything for the region and the individuals care much more about their friends in the inner north than their tuggers constituents.

It will take a couple of Independents to take a couple of seats from the government of the day before a Chief Minister bothers to deliver on their decades of failed election promises for Tuggeranong.

People are trying to make cycling into the city slower than the bus trip by letting unrestrained (or inadequately restrained) dogs roam and play on the C4 and C5 cycleways

Id just lime to clarify point No 5 please. It is actually a ROLLER SKATING rink that the people are asking for not an ice rink. We want to skate our quad skates and inlines on a nice smooth surface (impossible to find anywhere like this is Tuggeranong) and with a roof over our heads preferably. I think the roller derby people are keen for a proper rink for their sport, the artistic and slalom skaters would like somewhere for their sports and the general public just want somewhere fun and safe to skate with their friends and family.

Clean up the lake, we have to go to Burley Griffin to kayak. How neat would it be if we could swim in there safely too! There was talk of emptying it a few years back. It’s such a beautiful area and we can’t use it. Addition of some lights on the parkway side of the lake would enhance the area and make it safer for walkers in the evening.

Let powerboats on the stagnant pond if you want to improve its status back to being a lake.

Less potholes

Homeworld tower is now overshadowed by everything. Can we extend it.

GrumpyGrandpa7:25 pm 25 May 24

Somehow, I can’t see Tuggeranong moving forward, until a Chief Minister lives in the electorate.

As every real estate guru will tell you, it’s all about Location. Poor/inconvenient public transport makes a Location less desirable.

The government removed previous Tuggy to Belco bus routes, Expressos into the City, added time to the trip from Kambah to the Woden by doglegging the route via Coolemon Court, and we’ve never been able to go to Fyshwick or the airport, without first travelling into the City.

LR to Woden is going to push Tuggeranong further into the backwaters. Not only will the travel time between Woden and the City be increased, but commuters will need to change services at Woden to connect to LR, adding even more time to trip.

Absence of other services can be overcome with good transport options. Crickey, the duplication of Athllon Drive was promised in 2016.

Tuggeranong is definitely a land either forgotten, or ignored. 🙁

Eleanor Hearder6:18 pm 25 May 24

There needs to be more emphasis on the bogong moth sculpture along Drakeford Drive! We don’t need an owl! They did an awesome job in restoring it. Gorgeous orange!

It’s just a pity they couldn’t get the lights working again

I think a new hospital is essential. An indoor water park for kids like swimming pool at stromlo. An movie threatre. More things for young people.

@Alison Reid
Isn’t there a Limelight Cinema, i.e. movie theatre, in the Hyperdome?

Allison Muir3:17 pm 25 May 24

We need a direct bus to civic from Kambah east. Not good to have to go to Cooleman court. I thought our govt wanted cars off the road. No choice.

Allison Muir3:14 pm 25 May 24

Clean up the smelly lake. I feel embarrased for visitors.

Of the 6 actual things mentioned, 5 of them are things provided by private businesses. Obviously these businesses don’t feel there is a big enough market in Tuggeranong, and that’s why they aren’t there. Some of the items in the “honourable mentions” list are well worth lobbying the local aspiring politicians about though.

Athllon drive duplication would be nice and very necessary. After all the signs saying they’re doing this have been up since well before Covid. And I’m.sick of paying ever increasing rates and taxes for no return. TAMS could start tidying up the weeds etc growing out of the gutters too.

Keep KFC away from Chisholm. It’s the last thing we need!

I’m not dead….
Bring back Zucchini bros to chisholm

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