The recent news of plans to move the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and its thousands of jobs from Belconnen to a “10 kilometre radius of Capital Hill” has rightly sent shivers up the spines of the retailers and small businesses that rely on the agency for their lifeblood.
Because, even though our economy is diversifying, the public and private sectors in Canberra are still incredibly interdependent and the ACT’s future depends on the success of each of our satellite cities.
If the ACT as a whole is to continue to grow and thrive, then each satellite city – be it Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek or Gungahlin – must continue to grow and thrive.
The satellite city concept has created a national capital of micro-economies, and it’s important that each of these micro-economies remains robust.
That means each town centre must maintain a strong public service presence, and with it a strong private sector presence.
That’s why I fought so hard to keep the Department of Social Services in Tuggeranong.
And that’s why I will continue to fight to keep every part of the ACT growing and thriving.
Because moving thousands of people out of one centre to another does nothing but weaken and cannibalise the whole body of the ACT.