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Tuggeranong: A treasure hidden in plain sight?

By Tuggeranong_Action_Group - 14 September 2015 7

tuggeranong

Like many other locals, I was disheartened to read last week’s media coverage suggesting that Tuggeranong was dying and losing its soul.

It was disappointing to hear that my community, a place I have grown up in and loved for three decades, to be portrayed as a deficient and soulless place which people flee, in place of newer regions like Gungahlin.

Because not only is this factually incorrect, it completely distorts the actual experiences of people living in the Tuggeranong Valley.

After all, where else in Canberra could you wake up and come home to the warm sunset hues over the Brindabellas? Or go hiking, fishing, or horse riding all within a 10 minute drive from your home? Or appreciate the understated beauty of life in a quiet, safe and welcoming suburban community, while still only being 20 minutes commute from the city?

We have well-established and attractive streets, high quality schools, and active and lively community organisations across doing their best to improve residents’ life for the better. Altogether, Tuggeranong offers a superior suburban lifestyle that is second to none.

But if Tuggeranong is such a paradise, filled with community-minded, welcoming and friendly folk, then why are people leaving?

Part of the answer is demographic. Older residents who built the first homes have grown old and moved on – either to the coast, other parts of Canberra, or the great beyond. Urban planners have failed to account for this ageing population wanting to remain in Tuggeranong.

Similarly, children and young people who grew up in Tuggeranong find themselves moving elsewhere, either to live in apartments or to find an urban lifestyle not available locally. In both cases, housing options have failed to catch up with the desires of a changing population.

At the same time, successive governments have failed to reinvest in Tuggeranong’s future needs, and have allowed services to decline over time.

Infrastructure and amenities have been allowed to degrade or reduce in quality, while local work opportunities – especially public sector jobs – have been progressively cut back or moved to other parts of Canberra. All this has hindered the development of a vibrant private sector, and the development of Tuggeranong as a sustainable local economy.

So how do we, residents of Tuggeranong, challenge this difficult situation?

The first action, I believe, is to encourage more community involvement to demand (not meekly request) changes to our area, and to get more involved in the way government, community services and planners deliver solutions for the Tuggeranong community.

We also need local people – politicians, community leaders, and concerned residents – to articulate the key issues facing Tuggeranong, and to state ideas for how we can work together to fix them. If we want things in Tuggeranong to change for the better, then we need to direct reforms from the ground up – not wait for governments to see the light or change their mind.

Six months ago, I developed Tuggeranong Action Group as a way to counter the apathy in our community, and to actively promote Tuggeranong as a premier place to live and be part of a community.

I want all Tuggeranong residents to be proud of our quiet beauty and our unassuming community spirit, and I believe that it’s time that the “Cinderella of the South” (acknowledgments to John Hargreaves) finally gets its far share of government support, attention and investment.

For that to happen though, it has to start with local residents advocating for what needs to change. Get active Tuggeranong:  it starts with you.

Adrian Brown is the founder of Tuggeranong Action Group (TAG), a subcommittee of the Tuggeranong Community Council.  

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7 Responses to
Tuggeranong: A treasure hidden in plain sight?
rubaiyat 3:38 pm 19 Sep 15
JC 9:44 pm 17 Sep 15

MERC600 said :

Hells bells people have stables bigger than 250 squ metres. In fact there’s probably a law that says 250 is too small for an orse. But I guess, thankfully, its all good for the ACT coffers, and so in the end good for the rest of us who don’t have to buy , or live on them.

You make it sound like this is a uniquly Canberra thing. When small sized blocks are, rightly or wrongly the way it is in all the cities, and even in the country they are not as big as they once were.

Conan of Cooma 3:58 pm 17 Sep 15

I guess it has PJs. They do a good steak.

You can’t swim in the lake, you can’t take your kids out at night on the weekend, and Tuggeranong drivers have the most vitriolic attitude out of all the Canberra regions I have driven in.

That said I’d rather live in Tuggeranong than be an inner north w*nker, but each their own.

MERC600 1:12 pm 17 Sep 15

Yep I too like it here. Away from the hustle and bustle. Has everything I need, and we have reasonable size house blocks.

A recent article on a new Holt subdivision had a spruiker saying ‘ the 350 square meter blocks sold with an average of $270,000……. 350 is an average size block these days ?,, but it gets worser;
The “compact” blocks of 250 square meters sold for $232,000 average.

Hells bells people have stables bigger than 250 squ metres. In fact there’s probably a law that says 250 is too small for an orse. But I guess, thankfully, its all good for the ACT coffers, and so in the end good for the rest of us who don’t have to buy , or live on them.

rubaiyat 10:21 am 17 Sep 15

“After all, where else in Canberra could you wake up and come home to the warm sunset hues over the Brindabellas? Or go hiking, fishing, or horse riding all within a 10 minute drive from your home? Or appreciate the understated beauty of life in a quiet, safe and welcoming suburban community, while still only being 20 minutes commute from the city?”

That is anywhere in the ACT.

Sounds like the typical Real Estate brochure. The one with the photo library shots of happy smiling (German) couples playing in the sunshine with jumpers loosely knotted around their shoulders.

The reality is that Tuggeranong is none of that. No real adult life. It is a Nappy Valley that is still wearing its nappies and praising its contents.

The kids are leaving for the same reason they leave the country towns you claim Tuggeranong emulates. Because it is no country town, it is just dull unrelenting suburbia, wedded to the Kingswood with the tennis ball on the tow bar.

miz 5:23 am 17 Sep 15

Great article. I love living here, it is so beautiful, like a country town. As you say, it’s primarily demographics – the wave of babies have grown up and successive governments have left Tuggers as a dormitory instead of renewal. Woden, Belco and Weston Creek have been through it and Gunners will too in due course. Ignore rubaiat who iobviously knows nothing about Tuggers.
It would be great if for example the new stadium gets built in Tuggers instead of trying to cram it into Civic and wrecking LBG.

rubaiyat 5:32 pm 15 Sep 15

Why is Tuggeranong dying?

Two reasons:

The Carbon Tax and The Light Rail.

Many are fleeing to NSW before the Capital Metro thugs take their cars from their cold dead garages.

Or so I have been lead to believe.

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