In parliament today, I entreated more parliamentarians (and staff) to live on the northside of Canberra.
Living on the Northside
9 Feb 2012
Over recent months, I’ve been gathering stories from colleagues who enjoy living on the northside of Canberra, in my electorate of Fraser.
Senator Penny Wong says ‘I love the northside because I can walk to Lonsdale roasters, eat at Italian and Sons and see the balloons floating overhead as I drive across the bridge to work.’
The member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, tells me that the Gungahlin area has ‘some of the best bike paths around’. Senator Ursula Stephens tells me ‘I love to start my mornings with a brisk walk on Mt Ainslie.’ The Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, enjoys using Dickson pool during summer.
The member for Page, Janelle Saffin, says ‘I love living in Watson when I am in Canberra, as it has a nice suburban family friendly feel. I am beside parkland and enjoy the walks and the birds which are prolific and colourful.’
The member for Kingston, Amanda Rishworth, describes Dickson Chinese restaurants as ‘fast, furious and yummy’. The member for Shortland, Jill Hall, heartily agrees. Senator Stephen Conroy found the northside ‘a lovely place to grow up – relaxed and carefree’.
Yet despite all this, too few of those who work in Parliament House live on the trendy northside. Indeed, only 14 members of the Labor caucus live in the Fraser electorate. The members for Canberra (Gai Brodtmann), Eden-Monaro (Mike Kelly) and Lalor (Julia Gillard) have good excuses, but what about the rest of you? Members of parliament and staff, it’s time to move to the fashionable right bank of the Molongolo River.
Update: More here from the Canberra Times, including a few of my favourite spots on the northside (Dickson’s Chinese restaurants, Watson Arts Centre, Mount Ainslie and Mount Majura, Gungahlin bike paths, Dickson and CISAC pools, Italian & Sons, Belconnen skate park).