Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1028..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
serious offences like trafficking in heroin are able to avoid prosecution by being deported. We certainly support the stance taken by Mr Richard Refshauge, the Director of Public Prosecutions, in this case and the action he has taken.
MS TUCKER: My question is directed to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. At the end of last year residents in Burdekin Avenue, Amaroo, who bought their houses about a year ago on the understanding from reading the Territory Plan that there would be housing over the road and behind that a large pond and open space area, were told by PALM they will now have a preschool, two primary schools and a high school. Down the road there will be a shopping centre. The pond has been shrunk and the open space will now be used for playing fields. These facilities are shown on the Territory Plan as being located in other parts of the suburb and in the future adjacent suburb, but PALM decided to move them all to Burdekin Avenue some time ago without telling anyone.
Because all this land is defined under the land act, there is no need for PALM to go through the normal Territory Plan variation process, so the residents cannot do anything to stop this change. I understand that despite the residents' concerns you have recently agreed to the start of bulk earthworks for the playing fields and also to the start of the Catholic school to open in January 2002.
Could you confirm that this is the case? What is your response to those residents who believe they have been totally misled by PALM because the Territory Plan map was never updated to reflect these changes of land use and they would not have bought these blocks if they had known they would be living opposite schools and having lots of traffic pass their doors?
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, the nub of this question is the definition of defined land on the Territory Plan. Defined land is that which is shown on the plan as indicative only and may change when further planning work is done. Further planning work was done for this area of Amaroo and it was found that cross-ground flows of water and other factors meant that what was previously indicated to happen could not go ahead. To continue the use of the suburb and to re-jig the land, it ends up now that the best use for that area is the local schools, which will be a primary school, a Catholic primary school and a high school, and district ovals which can take into account the overland flows of water.
Many members, including you, I think, have written on behalf of constituents about this issue. The issue is about consultation. As the work unfolded and as the planning continued, when it became apparent that residential could not go on this site because of a number of factors, the planning commenced to change. The Territory Plan probably was not updated as quickly as it could have been, but consultation has now been undertaken with the residents. I can understand that if you bought expecting that there would be residential there you might be concerned at the change, but the reality is that we cannot build residential there. Oddly enough, the use of the district ovals in that area does help with the effects of water flows.
I believe that the way PALM conducted themselves in this regard is the standard way that they do it. I believe that the process is good. It is defined land under the Territory Plan. It is not set in concrete. I think the process is working reasonably well, but we need