Page 1666 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

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I have heard, and the government has heard, from many Canberrans about what they want their local area to look like. District planning will involve planning for what we have established as Canberra’s eight urban districts: Belconnen, Gungahlin, north Canberra, south Canberra, Molonglo Valley, Weston Creek, Woden Valley and Tuggeranong. This will be planning that fits between the broad metropolitan planning strategy and the smaller site-specific Territory Plan—a special scale that is currently missing in our planning system but is critical on many levels.

District planning is proposed as a way to better link the planning strategy and the Territory Plan, to increase the importance of all our government’s long-term strategies. District planning will include a strategic plan, like a map, to show a desired future direction for the development of an area. It will also include descriptions of desired future outcomes for the district, which will be developed from community input. As populations in existing areas grow with urban infill, we will continue to ensure that we have right infrastructure for changing demographics. We have demonstrated this with our investments in schools, health and community facilities in the inner north and the inner south.

Over the last two years we have listened to what Canberrans love about their local areas. Throughout June we will be visiting each of the eight districts across Canberra to listen to residents. We want to better understand what Canberrans value about their local area and what is important to capture in this level of planning. This feedback will be used to develop future outcomes descriptions for each district. We want to make sure future planning decisions reflect what is important to the people living in them. This will help prioritise investments in vital infrastructure, not just roads and water, but also schools, parks and community facilities.

District planning is being undertaken in stages. We are undertaking engagement on district planning throughout June. We will seek community and industry input on what locals value and what might change. We will report back to the participants in late 2021 with feedback on the workshops and how they have informed our district planning. Then we will develop the eight strategic district plans and establish the best mechanisms for incorporating them into the new planning act. Work will progress on district planning in 2022 to fit with a reformed Territory Plan and align with an updated planning strategy, which is likely due in 2023.

Madam Speaker, this is an important new level of planning that builds on our current system. It will allow us to better inform land use planning and development decisions. We look forward to continuing to engage with the Canberra community on this important work.

I present the following paper:

District level planning—Ministerial statement, 3 June 2021.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper.

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