Page 718 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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ask the Assembly to consider and endorse the government response to the motion Assembly Resolution of 30 November 2021—Dryland Ovals—Land and Management Plans.

On 30 November 2021 the Assembly passed the motion presented to the ACT Legislative Assembly by Ms Jo Clay regarding the future use of all dryland ovals in the ACT. The motion called for the ACT government to:

(a) conduct public consultation on land management plans for urban open spaces with the local community, including on the 31 dryland ovals, with residents, local Parent & Citizen groups, local businesses and local community groups;

(b) finalise updated land management plans, which will include specific consideration of dryland ovals and incorporate the feedback and aspirations on their future use received from the local community;

(c) promote the Adopt-a-Park initiative and engage closely with community groups wanting to start projects to improve dryland ovals and other open spaces for community uses;

(d) continue to work with the Florey Primary School and the community on commitments to improve the Florey oval to provide more active open space for the school and local community;

(e) explicitly exclude the ACT’s dryland ovals from future residential and commercial development, subject to consultation with the community; and

(f) report back to the Assembly on progress on this motion by the first sitting week in 2023.

I am pleased to report that there has been significant progress made on addressing each element of the motion, which I will summarise chronologically.

The Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate, TCCS, is currently finalising a draft urban open space land management plan, which will provide the framework for the management of ACT’s public urban open space network, including dryland ovals. This single plan, which is proposed to replace five existing land management plans, has been developed to meet the statutory requirements under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and to guide the management of the ACT government’s public urban open space network.

The draft land management plan is one policy in a hierarchy of policies, legislative, strategic and operational, that together guide the provision and management of the territory’s open space network. The draft land management plan recognises the critical role that community volunteer groups play in the management of our urban open spaces. TCCS currently supports over 80 volunteer groups that contribute to the conservation, presentation and maintenance of Canberra’s open space network.

I understand the draft land management plan is currently being considered by the responsible minister, Minister Steel, and a draft for public comment is expected to be available later in the year. However, I would like to make it clear that consultation on the draft land management plan will not directly inform the future of dryland ovals. Any consultation on the future of dryland ovals specifically would be subject to separate community consultation at a later date as required, and no changes to the current status of these ovals will occur without first consulting with the community.

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