Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 8 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 2679..
MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):
impact statement was based on 850 dwellings. Why was a major increase of another 450 dwellings, or 53 per cent, which will, amongst other things, impact on golden sun moth habitat, only considered a minor technical change?
MR BARR: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. She may not be aware—and certainly did not include it in the preamble—that the additional yield in the west Macgregor development is as a result of some additional land being granted to the company that is developing that land for the territory as part of a recent extension in globo land releases in both west Macgregor and, as I understand it, in another section of the city in Gungahlin to another company who are undertaking land development. The increase in yield on that site is consistent with that extra amount of land being made available.
It will be of interest to members of the Assembly that, as is always the case when government is dealing with land developments, there is always pressure for increased yield and the government and I have determined not to support a further increase beyond that number of 1,300 dwellings. There are a number of factors that obviously have to be considered when assessing these issues, but I can advise the Assembly that housing affordability was front and centre of my thinking in relation to the technical amendment. It is provided for under the Planning and Development Act and it is entirely consistent with that legislation. The Planning and Land Authority has undertaken a formal process that has involved community consultation.
There was certainly a lot of discussion in and around the Macgregor area on this new development. I think it is important that we prioritise housing affordability. The Village Building Company have a very fine record of delivering upon shared commitments in relation to affordable housing. Having toured the west Macgregor estate in recent times, I can advise that they are achieving both the government's goals around housing affordability and also what is clearly a motto for the company of delivering a quality product at an affordable price.
MR SPEAKER: Ms Le Couteur, a supplementary question?
MS LE COUTEUR: Thank you. Minister, does the removal of the housing mix as per the previous precinct code constitute a change in policy?
MR BARR: No, Mr Speaker, it does not constitute a change in policy. What it constitutes in this instance is that with the extension of the amount of land available for the west Macgregor development it was, of course, appropriate to make changes around the number of blocks that could be developed in expanding the size of the estate. I repeat that the government's priority in relation to this matter is around housing affordability. One would hope that the Greens party would agree with us that more affordable housing in this city is a priority.
MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in an analysis of the 2009 ACT budget the economic adviser to the estimates committee, Tony Harris, notes that the Stanhope-Gallagher government had a program of consultations prior to the 2009 budget. Mr Harris then said: