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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 7 Hansard (1 August) . . Page.. 2578 ..


The community direct sale regime was originally conceived as a means of attracting people and community organisations to establish themselves at a time in our capital's history when land was plentiful and our population was just emerging. However, this current process is out of step with our city's current circumstances and what the community expects as regards equity and transparency. The government knows that the community places tremendous social value on land demarcated for community purposes. The government is committed to ensuring that land for community uses for organisations that are not able to purchase land at full market value continues to be available as our city grows.

Canberra has experienced strong population growth in recent years and this is forecast to continue. Consequently, there is an increasing pressure on the availability of land and facilities for community organisations as the territory's population continues to grow. The mandate to consider more strategically how sites are used relative to the needs of all of our community has never been more apparent. Managing growth in a manner that is ambitious, equitable, sustainable and inclusive creates a range of challenges and opportunities for government and, as demonstrated time and time again, we are up to the task. As the Chief Minister eloquently expressed in his 2018 statement of ambition:

In embracing and building the Canberra of the future, Canberrans have made it clear that they want this to be a city for all, whatever their race, background, or identity.

Equity and inclusion are cornerstones of the ACT Government, and reflect the values of Canberrans.

The reforms in this bill reinforce the government's commitment to these values, through showing leadership in our approach to fostering a transparent and equitable system of community infrastructure and the efficient use of land. In general terms, the new policy framework established in the bill governs the approach taken to investigate the identity of land for release; the processes and requirements for the release of land; the method by which the successful proponent is sought, assessed and identified; the mechanism by which the land is granted; and the ongoing provision of whole-of-community benefits.

Chiefly, the new policy framework seeks to align identified need with community land releases in recognition of the importance of maintaining a diverse range of community services across the territory.

The new framework established by this bill is in addition to proactive identification and alignment of community need with land availability, and provides more equitable access to land for new community organisations and those without existing land holdings in the ACT. The framework promotes the innovative and collaborative provision of a diverse range of community services by encouraging different organisations to collaborate, collocate and share facilities. For community organisations, there will be greater certainty about the timing of land release and the opportunities and constraints on each site that is offered, with the formulation of an indicative community land release schedule. The government will continue to provide


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