Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 12 hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 4412..
MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):
The local centres are changing. Many of them were designed in the days when there were one-car families or single-car families and people used to walk to the shopping centres and the schools, which were put in the middle of the suburbs, and that was what was accessible then. Today, unfortunately, we could say, most people are driving, and they are not driving through the middle of their suburbs, unless it happens to be on their way home or they are picking up the kids from school. Part of the problem with local shops is that they have become invisible. You drive around Canberra and you do not see any shopping centres. How can the shopping centres promote themselves when they are all but invisible?
One of the ways possibly will be to change the planning rules so that we allow two or three-storey mixed residential developments, and around the local shops there would be a captive, as it were, local population who would use them and make them viable as convenience stores. I think that more of this could happen with the local shops, some of which are in trouble. I am very pleased that Mr Martin's report took up that recommendation from the Greens' submission.
I note in this context that the master plan for Braddon has a mandatory level of commercial use on the ground floor across the whole proposed redevelopment area south of Haig Park, with residential use above. That sort of mixed use development will add life to the area. I nearly said mixed life development, and that is kind of what we are talking about—a mixed life development. That is the sort of thing that we think may enliven our suburbs, as well as our inner suburban areas like Braddon.
Finally, I am in furious agreement with the two other parties in support of supermarket competition in the ACT, but I think it is important to look at the other issues, and I look forward to the continuing debate on the implementation of Mr Martin's very interesting report.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.58): I too am pleased to stand to speak on this motion. I welcome the contributions others have made to the debate. I acknowledge the comments that both Mr Seselja and Ms Le Couteur have made. To the extent that the devil will be in the detail in relation to implementation is a point that is well made. It is a sentiment that the government acknowledge. We acknowledge that the process of implementation of the Martin report recommendations will be vital to the success. I will touch on that process in a minute, but I do not dismiss the legitimacy of the sentiment that both Mr Seselja and Ms Le Couteur have expressed in relation to that.
In accepting the recommendations of the Martin review, the ACT government have become the first state or territory to accept the challenge thrown down by the ACCC to promote greater competition in the retail supermarket sector. We could have done nothing, a course that I think some others, some within industry and some with vested interests, believe we should have followed—in other words, the do nothing option, which we do not believe, in relation to competition and support for consumers, was an option at all.