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Tuggeranong – The Cinderella of the south

By John Hargreaves - 7 September 2015 33

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There was no surprise that the latest survey of migration in Canberra had Tuggeranong losing so many of its burghers to Gungahlin. Tuggeranong is indeed the Cinderella of the South and always was and always will be.

This is because the planners, pollies and mandarins both commonwealth and territory have decided it shall be so.

I saw a huge migration in 1996/97 when the small business sector was decimated here after 7,500 public service jobs disappeared from the region.  The trickle-down effect killed off many support industries and I doubt if the Valley has really recovered.

This has been exacerbated by the uncertainty caused by the federal governments, of both persuasions, over staff reductions and staff movements to more salubrious digs closer to the seats of power. Moving ACT public servants to Gungahlin has given life to that newer area – to the detriment of Tuggeranong.

That the city should be home to the majority of public servants is a fallacy and given we are now in the e-age, the distribution of these jobs can be linked to the vibrancy of a particular town centre, not its continued disadvantage.

Whilst I don’t wish to deny Gungahlin its fortune in receiving a host of public servants, I do think that the errors of previous governments in relation to the sentencing of Tuggeranong to be a series of “dormitory suburbs” should be addressed first.

Let us see the unequal distribution of job and activity attracting facilities in the regions and one will see why Tuggeranong doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy or the promises of pollies. At this stage, I declare that my pessimism is drawn from my frequent and fruitless rantings, beggings, pleadings, bullyings and entreaties on behalf of the Valley over 15 years.  And I see that my erstwhile colleague Brendan Smythe, and my successor MLAs of all three persuasions have fared no better.

Let’s compare Belconnen and Central Canberra with Tuggeranong.  Central Canberra being from Watson to Mawson.

There is a private and public hospital with the addition of another in the UC in Belconnen, there are two private hospitals and one public hospital in Central Canberra.  There are no hospitals in Tuggeranong.

There are significant industrial opportunities in central Canberra through Fyshwick, Phillip and Mitchell, Belconnen has a thriving industrial area.  Tuggeranong has a very minor industrial presence in Greenway and there is Hume which is not part of Tuggeranong anyway.

Belconnen has a thriving retail area, Civic has the retail and entertainment hub of Canberra, and Tuggeranong has a struggling Hyperdome.

Belconnen has the Stadium (of some different name each season) and the AIS.  Central Canberra has the Lyneham Sports complex, Manuka and Phillip Ovals, Tuggeranong has Greenway Oval which is rarely used by elite sports.

Belconnen has a university and a major CIT presence, Central Canberra has three universities and the major CIT presence, Tuggeranong has a very minor CIT presence.
Some years ago I did a rough tally of the numbers of public servants in each of the town centres and the order was something like Tuggeranong 4,000, City, 12,000, Belconnen, 12,000.  These figures are probably rubbery now but the ratio remains the same.

The private sector follows the public sector because that’s where the discretionary spending is.  We are seeing Woden starting to suffer because of the threat of Commonwealth public servants being moved out of the area.  This is a fact of life in Tuggeranong.

But not all is doom and gloom. You may remember that Cinderella was the most beautiful of the three sisters. And so it is for Tuggeranong in relation to the other two. Check out the photo.

Cinderella was rescued by a handsome Prince.  Well, we are waiting Prince Charming.  All we see at the moment are cane toads promising the world.

I love the Valley because it is beautiful, it is quiet, it has just enough entertainment for my selfish self and its citizens are welcoming.

Tell you what though.  A tram from Woden to Tuggeranong along Athllon Drive would be a good idea!

BTW… the introduction of medium density housing into the town centre precinct is helpful.  Let’s see more of it.

It is said that “if you build it, they will come”.  See what happened in Gungahlin, in Molonglo.  Heaps of new homes and people falling over themselves to buy up big. What about Tuggeranong?  Its aging infrastructure, its aging housing, its lack of decent facilities will sentence it to the forever sleep that the Sleeping Beauty suffered. Again, the need for a handsome Prince.

The creation of a new West Tuggeranong across the Murrumbidgee will actually create a two-tiered system in the area with the newbies living on one side and the Cinderellas on the other.

So OK guys and gals, the federal election is next year, so is the ACT election.  Let’s see the colour of your money and the breadth of your vision.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Tuggeranong – The Cinderella of the south
Nilrem 2:53 pm 10 Sep 15

MarkE said :

One thing they won’t miss out on it the opportunity to pay for Gungahlin’s light rail. Phase 1 will cost $870M according to the Canberra Times. According to the ABS there are 151,000 households in the ACT so this Labor/Greens government will extort $5,166 plus interest plus the ongoing operating losses from every household in the ACT .

That is just great. My family gets to pay more than $5,166 through extra rates and charges for a light rail system we will never use. HOW DO WE OPT OUT?

While the morons who govern the ACT talk about 90% renewable energy at extra cost to all of us. Have they thought about how much CO2 will be released in the manufacture of the steel and concrete to be used in the light rail project? Compared to some extra bus lanes and buses running on natural gas it will take centuries to break even on emissions with the bus alternative.

You will benefit from the reduction in people looking for parking in Civic. Maybe you could complain about the roads being paved in Belconnen, because you don’t get any benefit from that?

MarkE 2:23 pm 10 Sep 15

One thing they won’t miss out on it the opportunity to pay for Gungahlin’s light rail. Phase 1 will cost $870M according to the Canberra Times. According to the ABS there are 151,000 households in the ACT so this Labor/Greens government will extort $5,166 plus interest plus the ongoing operating losses from every household in the ACT .

That is just great. My family gets to pay more than $5,166 through extra rates and charges for a light rail system we will never use. HOW DO WE OPT OUT?

While the morons who govern the ACT talk about 90% renewable energy at extra cost to all of us. Have they thought about how much CO2 will be released in the manufacture of the steel and concrete to be used in the light rail project? Compared to some extra bus lanes and buses running on natural gas it will take centuries to break even on emissions with the bus alternative.

rubaiyat 12:14 pm 08 Sep 15

gazket said :

Just too add to that. Our Last federal Labour government is a prime example of our dead head governments. They gave away billions to other countries and invested here at home the BER, Pink Bats and set top boxes and a myriad of other garbage. Now we are paying for it and have no money for cream.

Thought I’d help you out with data as opposed to Liberal soundbites:

http://i612.photobucket.com/albums/tt206/tipsntricks/Oz_USA_FTA.png

The result of the Australia – USA Free Trade Agreement, negotiated and signed by the LNP, has been a net gift to the USA of US$96 billion so far. The onerous extensions to copyright and patents will ensure that continues in perpetuity. The USA Agricultural Subsidies stay in place, we have been banned from doing the same. Before the “FTA” Australia had actually been closing the gap with the USA Trade deficit.

The Australia – Thai Free Trade Agreement was even worse, putting an end to the lucrative Australian car exports (one of the supposed beneficiaries of the FTA) to Thailand and probably being one of the nails in the coffin of that industry.

The LNP is now doing this all over again with China. Their ideological dogmatism is what is driving our Trade Deficit and economy through the floor.

This Government talks big about Team Australia, but as usual is playing NFL not AFL.

Garfield 12:04 pm 08 Sep 15

JC said :

Garfield said :

JC said :

Garfield said :

One contributing factor I didn’t see mentioned was the ACT government’s changes to the first home buyer concessions a few years ago, where they were limited to newly constructed homes. This encouraged many younger Tuggers residents to move north and skewed the demographics of the valley. As a result it’s likely that Tuggeranong residents aren’t having enough babies to maintain the population. Tuggeranong needs new construction of affordable first homes or there needs to be a change to the law allowing first home buyers to access concessions for existing homes purchased. If I remember correctly the Libs promised to do the latter during 2012, so it may still be part of their platform next year.

Considering the cost of housing in Gungahlin is for the most part more expensive, I seriously doubt the change to the first home buyers grant is encouraging people to move out. It would be like spending $50k to save $12k (or what ever it is these days).

Maybe the younger generation are making the choice to move to somewhere nearer, or more to the point probably to the units that are/have been built along the Flemmington Road corridor. Many young people these days don’t want houses with yards, and many cannot afford them anyway even in Tuggernaong.

One thing that is missed with the debate about Tuggeranong is it is the only township that is a double hop from the city. It is for this reason that it lacks facilities that other town centres have, for the most part Tuggeranong is a dormitory town of Woden, so Woden is where the bulk of the facilities are.

Also makes it hard to build things like Uni’s as Tuggernong is central to no where, whereas if you look where the hospitals, Uni’s etc are they are generally central to the population as a whole, just not Tuggernong. Not hard to get to either.

When it comes to buying a first home, saving for the deposit is a key component, and an extra $12,000 can be the difference between being able to buy a place or not. I had a look on Allhomes and while there looked to be more properties in Tuggeranong between $300-400,000 than there were in Gungahlin, there were still a good number listed there. In terms of travel times, northern and eastern Tuggeranong are just as close to the city as northern and western Belconnen, so I’m not sure that distance is a huge issue.

Think you will find that banks don’t include first home buyers grants in their deposit calculations.

And yeah northern and eastern Tuggernaong are just as close to the city as the extremities of Belconnen. But the majority of Tuggernanong is not in the north of the township. I do agree for the most part the distance doesn’t make a difference to those who live there (I live in west Belconnen for way of comparison). But it does make a hell of a big difference to provision of public transport, and facilities that are for the benifit of the city as a whole. Eg Hospitals etc.

I don’t know if its changed now, but when I received my first home owners grant it was definitely included in deposit calculations. The Monaro Highway can provide quick access to the city for eastern Tuggeranong suburbs as well, and combined with the northern ones it probably comes to more than half of Tuggers.

JC 8:26 am 08 Sep 15

Garfield said :

JC said :

Garfield said :

One contributing factor I didn’t see mentioned was the ACT government’s changes to the first home buyer concessions a few years ago, where they were limited to newly constructed homes. This encouraged many younger Tuggers residents to move north and skewed the demographics of the valley. As a result it’s likely that Tuggeranong residents aren’t having enough babies to maintain the population. Tuggeranong needs new construction of affordable first homes or there needs to be a change to the law allowing first home buyers to access concessions for existing homes purchased. If I remember correctly the Libs promised to do the latter during 2012, so it may still be part of their platform next year.

Considering the cost of housing in Gungahlin is for the most part more expensive, I seriously doubt the change to the first home buyers grant is encouraging people to move out. It would be like spending $50k to save $12k (or what ever it is these days).

Maybe the younger generation are making the choice to move to somewhere nearer, or more to the point probably to the units that are/have been built along the Flemmington Road corridor. Many young people these days don’t want houses with yards, and many cannot afford them anyway even in Tuggernaong.

One thing that is missed with the debate about Tuggeranong is it is the only township that is a double hop from the city. It is for this reason that it lacks facilities that other town centres have, for the most part Tuggeranong is a dormitory town of Woden, so Woden is where the bulk of the facilities are.

Also makes it hard to build things like Uni’s as Tuggernong is central to no where, whereas if you look where the hospitals, Uni’s etc are they are generally central to the population as a whole, just not Tuggernong. Not hard to get to either.

When it comes to buying a first home, saving for the deposit is a key component, and an extra $12,000 can be the difference between being able to buy a place or not. I had a look on Allhomes and while there looked to be more properties in Tuggeranong between $300-400,000 than there were in Gungahlin, there were still a good number listed there. In terms of travel times, northern and eastern Tuggeranong are just as close to the city as northern and western Belconnen, so I’m not sure that distance is a huge issue.

Think you will find that banks don’t include first home buyers grants in their deposit calculations.

And yeah northern and eastern Tuggernaong are just as close to the city as the extremities of Belconnen. But the majority of Tuggernanong is not in the north of the township. I do agree for the most part the distance doesn’t make a difference to those who live there (I live in west Belconnen for way of comparison). But it does make a hell of a big difference to provision of public transport, and facilities that are for the benifit of the city as a whole. Eg Hospitals etc.

chewy14 7:52 am 08 Sep 15

rubaiyat said :

I’m confused.

I was lead to believe by so many of the posters here that Tuggeranong was the very model of the ideal urban design.

Remote from the centre of the city, sprawling across the countryside far away from everywhere else, even its own town centre, broad expanses of expensive freeways the only mode of transport, impossible to get around without a car, and not just empty of any redeeming features but also devoid of life.

Just the way that those who chose it, want it.

Well it’s definitely better than most of the other new areas but definitely needs some infill densification around the major transport corridors and town centre.

The main problem however is the fact that West Murrumbidgee was never built leaving the town “centre” located on the fringe of the development area instead of in the middle where it was designed to be.

I wonder what could possibly fix that problem? Hmmmm.

Nilrem 5:21 am 08 Sep 15

gazket said :

Just too add to that. Our Last federal Labour government is a prime example of our dead head governments. They gave away billions to other countries and invested here at home the BER, Pink Bats and set top boxes and a myriad of other garbage. Now we are paying for it and have no money for cream.

Please explain why the budget deficit now is even bigger than it was under Labor, and will continue to grow.

rubaiyat 6:18 pm 07 Sep 15

gazket said :

Just too add to that. Our Last federal Labour government is a prime example of our dead head governments. They gave away billions to other countries and invested here at home the BER, Pink Bats and set top boxes and a myriad of other garbage. Now we are paying for it and have no money for cream.

The Liberals and Nationals have given away vastly more with their amateurly negotiated “Free Trade” Agreements. They gifted at least a trillion dollars to American corporatations with 75 year IPRs, unbalanced trade access and outsourcing tailored to US Multinationals.

They allowed the long standing rorting of our taxation system by major corporations and countless billions more into attacking Iraq our biggest market in the Middle East. Helping the Americans trash the place then letting the Americans pick up our markets in return for services rendered.

The current comedy act in Canberra is doing this all over again with China.

HiddenDragon 6:14 pm 07 Sep 15

For various reasons, including one big, obvious (toot! toot!) reason, there’s unlikely to be funding to do anything beyond the tokenistic for Tuggeranong, but if nothing else, it should have market forces on its side in the form of (relatively) more affordable housing, compared to the more fashionable parts of town.

gazket 5:00 pm 07 Sep 15

Just too add to that. Our Last federal Labour government is a prime example of our dead head governments. They gave away billions to other countries and invested here at home the BER, Pink Bats and set top boxes and a myriad of other garbage. Now we are paying for it and have no money for cream.

gazket 4:46 pm 07 Sep 15

I’m sorry but Tuggers is no different to Woden or Belco. The grass always seems greener on the other side.

Your saying we need more Public servants and school kids to keep the Malls operating ?

All it will do is pump up Westfield’s and all the world wide franchises that fill the malls and most of that money goes over seas tax free. The money doesn’t stay here to improve the town centre.

Over the years and still ongoing our governments have ensured our spent money is getting bundled up and sent overseas. Until that changes we are in the shit and it’s getting deeper.

So us placing more public servants in town centres won’t do a thing in the long run it’s a short term fix until the next X-pollie says we need more public servants in the town centres. Look what Belco has.

Garfield 2:42 pm 07 Sep 15

JC said :

Garfield said :

One contributing factor I didn’t see mentioned was the ACT government’s changes to the first home buyer concessions a few years ago, where they were limited to newly constructed homes. This encouraged many younger Tuggers residents to move north and skewed the demographics of the valley. As a result it’s likely that Tuggeranong residents aren’t having enough babies to maintain the population. Tuggeranong needs new construction of affordable first homes or there needs to be a change to the law allowing first home buyers to access concessions for existing homes purchased. If I remember correctly the Libs promised to do the latter during 2012, so it may still be part of their platform next year.

Considering the cost of housing in Gungahlin is for the most part more expensive, I seriously doubt the change to the first home buyers grant is encouraging people to move out. It would be like spending $50k to save $12k (or what ever it is these days).

Maybe the younger generation are making the choice to move to somewhere nearer, or more to the point probably to the units that are/have been built along the Flemmington Road corridor. Many young people these days don’t want houses with yards, and many cannot afford them anyway even in Tuggernaong.

One thing that is missed with the debate about Tuggeranong is it is the only township that is a double hop from the city. It is for this reason that it lacks facilities that other town centres have, for the most part Tuggeranong is a dormitory town of Woden, so Woden is where the bulk of the facilities are.

Also makes it hard to build things like Uni’s as Tuggernong is central to no where, whereas if you look where the hospitals, Uni’s etc are they are generally central to the population as a whole, just not Tuggernong. Not hard to get to either.

When it comes to buying a first home, saving for the deposit is a key component, and an extra $12,000 can be the difference between being able to buy a place or not. I had a look on Allhomes and while there looked to be more properties in Tuggeranong between $300-400,000 than there were in Gungahlin, there were still a good number listed there. In terms of travel times, northern and eastern Tuggeranong are just as close to the city as northern and western Belconnen, so I’m not sure that distance is a huge issue.

rubaiyat 12:30 pm 07 Sep 15

I’m confused.

I was lead to believe by so many of the posters here that Tuggeranong was the very model of the ideal urban design.

Remote from the centre of the city, sprawling across the countryside far away from everywhere else, even its own town centre, broad expanses of expensive freeways the only mode of transport, impossible to get around without a car, and not just empty of any redeeming features but also devoid of life.

Just the way that those who chose it, want it.

JC 10:21 am 07 Sep 15

Garfield said :

One contributing factor I didn’t see mentioned was the ACT government’s changes to the first home buyer concessions a few years ago, where they were limited to newly constructed homes. This encouraged many younger Tuggers residents to move north and skewed the demographics of the valley. As a result it’s likely that Tuggeranong residents aren’t having enough babies to maintain the population. Tuggeranong needs new construction of affordable first homes or there needs to be a change to the law allowing first home buyers to access concessions for existing homes purchased. If I remember correctly the Libs promised to do the latter during 2012, so it may still be part of their platform next year.

Considering the cost of housing in Gungahlin is for the most part more expensive, I seriously doubt the change to the first home buyers grant is encouraging people to move out. It would be like spending $50k to save $12k (or what ever it is these days).

Maybe the younger generation are making the choice to move to somewhere nearer, or more to the point probably to the units that are/have been built along the Flemmington Road corridor. Many young people these days don’t want houses with yards, and many cannot afford them anyway even in Tuggernaong.

One thing that is missed with the debate about Tuggeranong is it is the only township that is a double hop from the city. It is for this reason that it lacks facilities that other town centres have, for the most part Tuggeranong is a dormitory town of Woden, so Woden is where the bulk of the facilities are.

Also makes it hard to build things like Uni’s as Tuggernong is central to no where, whereas if you look where the hospitals, Uni’s etc are they are generally central to the population as a whole, just not Tuggernong. Not hard to get to either.

Garfield 8:12 am 07 Sep 15

One contributing factor I didn’t see mentioned was the ACT government’s changes to the first home buyer concessions a few years ago, where they were limited to newly constructed homes. This encouraged many younger Tuggers residents to move north and skewed the demographics of the valley. As a result it’s likely that Tuggeranong residents aren’t having enough babies to maintain the population. Tuggeranong needs new construction of affordable first homes or there needs to be a change to the law allowing first home buyers to access concessions for existing homes purchased. If I remember correctly the Libs promised to do the latter during 2012, so it may still be part of their platform next year.

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