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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (18 October) . . Page.. 3153..


Territory plan—garden city provisions

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (3.52): I seek leave to make a ministerial statement concerning the evaluation of the garden city provisions of the territory plan.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: The garden city provisions were introduced into the territory plan in 2003. Prior to this, dual occupancy and multi-unit developments were permissible across the entire residential area of Canberra. There was mounting concern that this type of development would undermine the garden city integrity of Canberra's suburbs. The community also sought some level of certainty as to the nature, scale and form of development that would occur in the suburbs. In response to these issues, the garden city provisions now focus residential redevelopment and a moderate level of residential intensification into residential core areas. These areas are in strategic locations, usually within a radius of 200 to 300 metres, of local or group centres. These provisions are contributing to a more sustainable settlement pattern and offer people greater choice in housing. They also provide people with access to community and commercial services and the opportunity to "age in place"within their suburb.

As a result of the garden city provisions, some 85 per cent of Canberra's residential areas are now protected from the type of development that is permissible in residential core areas. These are known as suburban areas, and they seek to retain Canberra's valued residential scale, amenity and character, consistent with community expectations. The overall intent of the provisions is to preserve the garden city character that Canberra is noted for whilst also responding to contemporary planning issues, including demographic and lifestyle changes in our community. This will ensure that there is some diversity in the dwellings that are provided to the market.

The evaluation of the garden city provisions demonstrates the government's commitment to ensure that these garden city values are not eroded. A series of detailed investigations has been undertaken as part of the evaluation process. At the outset, there was preliminary and targeted consultation with key stakeholders to identify key issues. These stakeholders included community groups and industry organisations as well as key internal government agencies.

An independent market analysis looking at property values, market sales and sustainability was prepared by a specialist consultant. An assessment of development applications, objections and AAT decisions was undertaken, along with a design review of development applications. The ACT Planning and Land Authority also undertook a review of similar provisions in other key jurisdictions in New South Wales. This culminated in a discussion paper, which was open for public comment in April and May of this year. The discussion paper identified the key issues and proposed a range of options to address these issues. There were 17 submissions made, and they have been considered in the evaluation process.

Now that the evaluation process is complete, I can report that the garden city provisions have achieved their original intent. They are protecting the residential


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