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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 5246..

MR PRATT (continuing):

assure us that you will not be repeating the grave error of 17 January 2003 when vulnerable communities were not warned of the impending disaster?

MR WOOD: That was a whole build-up around the circumstances and I would not accept your premise. One of the most significant events of the last few months is that there is now a memorandum of understanding between the police and the fire services. There is a clear protocol in place so that there is absolutely no confusion over evacuation procedures and when an evacuation should occur. It has been refined. For example, a year ago there were some difficulties here and there with whether to evacuate. The general standard is that, if people think that they are fit and able to stay with their property, they should do so unless and until they are advised by an authority, which could be either fire or police, that they should or must evacuate. Those are the circumstances around that. I think that is a very significant advance.

Neighbourhood planning

MS TUCKER: My question is to Mr Corbell and is related to the neighbourhood planning process and population estimates. Minister, you would be aware that there are some frustrations being expressed by local residents and resident groups over the process of neighbourhood planning, particularly at the moment in the suburbs of Hackett, Watson and Downer. One of the issues, as you would be aware, is the degree of infill and consolidation that is proposed for these suburbs.

You might be aware of a document prepared by Dr Vincent Craig, based on Bureau of Statistics information which estimates Canberra's population will grow to a maximum of 380,000 by 2026, then maybe an extra 20,000 over the next 25 years and would then decline, falling well short of the estimates in the draft spatial plan. Given this, and even taking into account the shift towards smaller household size, the number of extra dwellings required would be about 32,000.

The spatial plan estimates there are 10,000 additional household sites available in the established areas, another 30,000 on the books for greenfields sites in Gungahlin and Dunlop, another 12,500 sites likely to come on stream in Molonglo and an unknown number of unit developments in and around town centres. The need for urban renewal in the inner north, while desirable, is clearly moderate.

Why is it, then, that, while the community briefs suggest an increase in dwellings of 200 in Hackett and Watson and 300 in Downer, current plans and proposals from ACTPLA appear to allow for an increase of 400 dwellings in Watson, 800 dwellings in Hackett and 1,500 dwellings in Downer?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I trust that those final figures that Ms Tucker is referring to are from the plan put together by the independent design team through the charette process. If that is the case, Mr Speaker, those are not ACTPLA proposals; those are proposals put forward by a design team commissioned by ACTPLA for the purposes of commissioning and instigating community debate about urban renewal in the established areas.

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