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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 3 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 1011..


MR COE (continuing):

However, the auctioning of block 8, section 34 Hawker on 18 March 2009 has been done too swiftly and without consulting the community adequately, especially the businesses and community organisations that operate at the centre. The concerned people simply want to be involved in the future of the area that they have invested so much time and money into developing.

Mrs Dunne's motion calls upon the government to do what they should have done from the start: consult. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. There are other examples in suburban shops where developments have gone ahead with little to no consultation. It is not good enough. As I said earlier, there is nobody better placed to provide advice on local areas than the suburban chemist, manager of the general store, operator of the takeaway, the local postmaster, minister or newsagent.

It would be foolish of us not to speak with them when it is their future and their community at stake. I urge all members to support a return to engaging with the community and support this motion.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (4.12): I will speak to Mr Stanhope's amendment and close at the same time, for economy's sake. I welcome the approach taken by Mr Stanhope and the government. I thank him for his very thoughtful approach on this and I think that, as a result, we may get quite a good outcome.

When I came up with the reporting date, I was trying to strike a balance between taking six months to do a planning study and not putting it out so far as to jeopardise the sale but, if the Chief Minister is of the view that going until December is more appropriate, I will bow to that. I thank the Chief Minister for his generosity in this and I think that the people of Ginninderra will thank him as well. I hope that they do.

I think he makes a fair point about the policy approach that we need to take. It is the case that we should not have a one-size-fits-all approach. But it may be that it is important that we start a master planning process for areas where there has not been a master plan or the master plan has been around for some time. I actually do not know whether there has ever been a master plan for Hawker. If there has been one, it was a very long time ago. One of those approaches might be to look at where there are infill places in group centres and large shopping centres and things like that and start the master planning there.

It would also be appropriate, I think—and it has been my view and the view of the Canberra Liberals for a substantial amount of time—that it is time that there was a whole-of-town-centre master planning approach for Belconnen. There have been master plans for bits of it, but there has not been an overall approach. There has been an overall approach taken to Phillip in the last little while and I think it is time that the same approach was taken in Belconnen.

I thank members for their support. I thank the Chief Minister for his generosity. We will support the amendment. I hope that, as a result, we get a good outcome for the people who make their living and operate community activities at and frequent the Hawker shopping centre, the professional areas and the churches; that we also learn


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