I rise today to talk about the great work being done by the Gungahlin Community Council, otherwise known as the GCC. The GCC has recently been active in engaging with and reaching out to Gungahlin residents to identify the issues and concerns that really matter in the Gungahlin community.
The GCC operates within the wider Gungahlin district of the ACT. The district is home to a diverse group of suburbs bordered by the ACT-New South Wales border in the north, the Barton Highway in the south and the Federal Highway in the east. The GCC is an important forum that allows residents and local businesses to express their wishes and vision for the wider Gungahlin area. I make special mention of president Ewan Brown, vice president Peter Elford, secretary Tony Ozanne and other committee members.
I have been involved in the Gungahlin Community Council since 2011, sitting as a member of the executive in 2013. In this time I have seen the GCC develop into a community body that has embraced technology as a means of engaging with the greater Gungahlin community.
In meetings in 2013 the executive were tabling the idea of conducting online surveys aimed at engaging more members of the wider Gungahlin community. I was very excited to see this survey come to fruition late last year when the Gungahlin Community Council “Have your say” community survey 2014 was opened in October.
The results were released on 25 February this year. The aim of the survey was to collate views and concerns in regard to six key areas. They were: the urban village concept of the town centre, roads and transport infrastructure, commuting, local area services, community services, and the electorate. The survey collected 1,343 responses from a variety of different people, a fantastic and impressive result. I would like to congratulate the GCC on their hard work and use of various methods to promote the survey to the wider community.
The GCC successfully employed the use of email, promotion on the GCC website, social media in the form of Facebook banners and feature pages in Gunsmoke, the GCC newsletter, and circulated widely through the My Gungahlin website. The GCC were also extremely successful in their utilisation of local groups to distribute the survey to a wider proportion of the community. This was done through articles in the Chronicle, promotion through the Communities@Work network and communication with many social, religious and business groups in Gungahlin.
Looking through the results of the survey, there were some responses in particular that interested me. These included that 81 per cent of those surveyed expressed their wish for greater entertainment services in the region, with the vast majority of respondents indicating their wish for a cinema in the area—a development I am equally passionate about and hope to see come to fruition shortly.
In terms of transport, it was unsurprising that 87 per cent of respondents indicated that their personal car was their main form of transport to work. However, it was also heartening to see that 75 per cent of respondents indicated they would like to see Capital Metro built, with around 67 per cent expressing their willingness to use the system once it is operating. Certainly, at last week’s Gungahlin Community Council meeting, members and committee members expressed their desire to see this government planning for the future in building a sustainable transport system that tackles the congestion that residents in Gungahlin find every day, coming in and out of the town centre.
By using a variety of communication means, the GCC survey was able to reach a large proportion of the wider Gungahlin region, resulting in a thorough and detailed response. The work done by the GCC has showcased the importance of active outreach and engagement in collating the views and concerns of the community. I congratulate the GCC on the success of the “Have your say” survey.