Thank you Madam Speaker.
As I've spoken a few times already in this place, I'd like to discuss Giralang in my final adjournment for the year.
I've recently had a few of Giralang's younger residents write to me about the shops and I wanted to share a few of their words – and I'd like to note they've all given me permission to do this.
James wrote to me,
"Dear Ms Orr
I appreciate the work you've done for the Giralang community. I am writing the letter to bring an important issue to your attention. The building site near our school has been abandoned for a long time.
The site where the old Giralang Shops were is currently an unsafe wasteland. Some people, even Primary students, go there. It is too dangerous as they could be injured. A brick could fall at their feet and no one can help them. Giralang needs a community hub.
Canberra suburbs were designed to have a shopping complex or other community meeting place, parents and guardians can pick up the groceries after they pick up their children.
Every afternoon students are coming out of the 7 eleven with slurpees. It's unhealthy. We need more healthy things that a new supermarket can provide. That way people can have healthy options instead."
Yze wrote to me,
"Dear Ms Orr, I am writing this letter to talk about the construction site next to Giralang Primary School.
I think the construction site next to Giralang Primary School should be turned into small shops because it's a lot easier for older people, so they don't have to walk to Kaleen Plaza.
At the moment the construction site looks ugly and it's unsafe because people can hurt themselves. It should be turned into small shops and very fast.
I hope you enjoyed reading and understand why I think that the construction site should be finished."
"Dear Ms Orr, about the shops, we should as a community rebuild them.
Canberra was designed for suburbs to have community hubs. People such as the elderly, who can't drive, shouldn't have to catch a bus to go to the shops. Catching a bus to and from the shops can take a long time. If we had shops in Giralang it would make it much easier.
Something needs to be done with the site because it has been abandoned for so long. There is lots of graffiti and it doesn't look safe. I have heard that some students go into the building site. They could really hurt themselves because there is lots of scaffolding and buildings things there.
Thanks for reading my letter."
Caleb said to me,
"I'm writing to you about the construction site in front of Giralang Primary School. I think we should put a Target store there because kids and parents need to do shopping for the weekend and the next week of school.
You should put a shop there or make the construction site gone because kids are going in when they're not supposed to. Kids could hurt themselves.
You should do something because kids are doing graffiti in there and the graffiti is rude. Thank you for reading my letter Ms Orr."
and James wrote to me,
"Dear Ms Orr,
I think the building site should get knocked down and rebuilt so we can have new ideas and designs.
For example, a cafe, so teachers can go get coffee before they teach us.
There should also be shops there so people don't have to go all the way to Kaleen.
But the 7 Eleven is good so you can still get slurpees, and chocolate and stuff."
So look those are the views of a few of the younger residents of Giralang and I think they reflect the views of most residents of Giralang, that we'd like some movement on this site and to see something happening.
I know this year I’ve been advocating very strongly for this to happen, meeting with the developer because as much as Government has a role, and we have been investing in Giralang through the Park, and going out and speaking to people so it's the community's park.
The developer does have responsibility for the site and it is up to the developer to bring forward a proposal.
Having met with him a number of times this year to convey the wishes of the Giralang community to see action on this, I am very pleased to say he has announced a start to a consultation.
On Tuesday 5th December at 6pm at the Community House in Giralang.
He will be meeting with the community to have to them about not only their vision for the suburb but also his vision and how those two can be brought together.
I would encourage everyone to go along.
This isn't going to be fixed by one person alone.
We all need to work together, the community, the government and the developer so that hopefully we can actually get some movement and get a shops for Giralang once and for all.
That's my wish for Christmas, hopefully it will come true.