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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 61..

Supplementary answer to question on notice

Neighbourhood planning process

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, I have an answer to a question that Ms Tucker asked me in the Assembly on 11 December last year in relation to the neighbourhood planning process for the suburbs of Watson, Downer and Hackett. I took the question on notice and I have since written to Ms Tucker, but for the information of members the neighbourhood planning process in the suburbs of Watson, Downer and Hackett commenced in March 2003 with a newsletter distributed to all households in those suburbs in early April. The newsletter detailed the current demographic profile of those suburbs as well as future demographic trends based on the modelling undertaken for the spatial plan. There was no mention in the newsletter of targets for additional dwellings.

Figures of possible additional dwellings in Watson, Downer and Hackett were publicly mentioned for the first time at the visions workshop held at EPIC on 28 May last year. A scenario based on the upper limits of redevelopment activities under the spatial plan was utilised at this workshop to get an indication of where participants thought additional households should be located in the suburbs. The figures were: Downer, 300 dwellings; Watson, 200 dwellings-850 total to include 650 already committed in north Watson-Hackett, 200 dwellings.

Since the workshop these figures have been further refined as additional demographic modelling has been undertaken for the spatial plan and the preferred direction of the spatial plan has been identified. The figures are now Downer, 230 to 300 dwellings; Watson, 160 to 200 dwellings, plus 650 in north Watson; and Hackett 160 to 200 dwellings. It should be noted that these figures do not directly equate with population growth. The number of additional dwellings also attempts to take into account the changes that are already occurring in the demographics of the suburbs-for example, the reduction in average household size as a result of children leaving home, divorce, separation, et cetera. The program also attempts to provide a diversity of dwellings for people to remain in the suburb when their domestic circumstances change-for example, to allow for ageing in place and entry of first home buyers who have grown up in the neighbourhood.

I remind the Assembly that neighbourhood planning is about providing a framework for the future planning of local communities. The figures supplied to the members of the Downer, Watson and Hackett communities assisted them in participating in the process in an informed and meaningful way. Importantly, the draft spatial plan seeks to minimise the negative impacts of urban sprawl and declining inner city populations as a result of demographic change through appropriate and sensible levels of urban renewal.

For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Neighbourhood Planning-Answer to question without notice asked of Mr Corbell by Ms Tucker and taken on notice on 11 December 2003:

2003 Neighbourhood Planning Program-Watson, Downer and Hackett: Implications of the Draft Canberra Spatial Plan, prepared by the Spatial Planning Team in conjunction with Urban Design and Projects and the Neighbourhood

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