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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 9 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2743..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Land (Planning and Environment) Act, pursuant to subsection 229B (7)-Statement regarding exercise of call-in powers-Development application No 200501473-Blocks 1 and 2 Section 89, City, dated 8 August 2005.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to this paper.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, on 18 July this year, I directed under section 229A of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991 the ACT Planning and Land Authority to refer to me development application No 200501473. This direction was notified on the ACT legislation register. On 8 August this year, I approved the application using my powers under section 229B of the land act.

This application sought approval for the construction of a 10-storey office building with ground floor retail and basement car parking on blocks 1 and 2 section 89 city, and to vary the lease and the master plan for section 84 city to permit a building of up to 49,220 square metres, office use up to 48,045 square metres and shop use up to 1,175 square metres, and to vary the gross floor area definition to exclude all plant room area.

Mr Speaker, section 89 was previously part of section 84 city. In deciding the application, I gave careful consideration to the compliance of the development with the goals of the section 84 city master plan, the potential impact of the increase in office accommodation, the potential contamination of the land, and potential pedestrian safety concerns raised for people using Murulla Lane.

I have imposed conditions on the development. These include the issue of a lease over blocks 1 and 2 section 89 city, the payment of a change of use charge for the lease variation calculated at 100 per cent of the assessed added value, management of the land in accordance with an approved environmental management plan and occupational health and safety plan, and the provision of lighting along Murulla Lane and a report detailing the results of wind testing of the development.

This proposal is consistent with the requirements of the territory plan. I have used my call-in powers in this instance because I consider the proposal has a substantial effect on the achievement of objectives of the territory plan in respect of Civic. The particular criterion in the land act is in section 229B (2): the minister may consider the application if, in the minister's opinion, the application seeks approval for a development that may have a substantial effect on the achievement or development of objectives of the territory plan.

This proposal significantly contributes to maintaining and promoting Civic as the main commercial centre for Canberra and the region. I have called in the application because I consider it is important to retain and attract employment in the city and provide significant economic benefits to the city. A major part of the decision was to ensure that a major commonwealth government agency, the Australian Taxation Office, would remain in the city rather than risk having it move out of the area in its search for office


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