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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1948..


MS DUNDAS (continuing):

ongoing viability of the Australian Capital Motor Inn and the desire of the owners of the Australian Capital Motor Inn to remove the inn, demolish the existing 54-room motor inn and erect two-storey buildings containing 57 apartments.

Whilst the committee has agreed to endorse draft variation 224, we did have some concerns. We noted that there was support for the redevelopment from the Planning and Land Council, the local community and through a planning study report; however, we believe that changing land use policies to accede to the demands of local developers does not represent sound holistic planning practice and does not indicate how such ad hoc changes are justified, merely on the basis of local issues. We have not had the opportunity, through the draft variation, to really look at how these changes would be beneficial to the ACT overall as far as long-term planning outcomes are concerned.

Reasonably comprehensive impact studies have been done and local community consultation has taken place but there is no statement as to how this change in land use will benefit the overall planning outcomes. So the committee is concerned that there does need to be more strategic consideration given to planning and land management issues, looking especially at how the impending loss of budget accommodation would impact on the territory. The Land and Planning Council has asked the government to consider ways of restoring opportunities for this form of accommodation through positive rather than regulatory planning initiatives.

The committee is prepared to endorse draft variation 224 but would like the government to put more effort into strategic considerations of changes in land use policy and to demonstrate the consistency of any future land use policy changes with the Canberra plan, the spatial plan, the sustainable transport plan, the social plan and any other strategic planning documents prepared by the government that relate to planning and land management and transport issues. I commend this report to the Assembly.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Heath and Minister for Planning) (12.19): I thank the committee for its report and for its support for this variation. I note the committee's recommendation No 2 about changes to the territory plan that are generated by specific development proposals. This is an ongoing issue which our planning system continues to struggle with from time to time: to what extent should the territory plan be immovable and to what extent should it be responsive to changes in land use activity? There is no clear-cut answer to that. I think it would be worthwhile if the committee also reflected on the fact that quite often this view can be on the other foot. For example, we have had a debate in this place about whether or not an Aldi supermarket should be permitted at the Belconnen Markets.

That is an example of the territory plan not permitting a certain use, but certain members in this place and people in the community argue that the territory plan should permit it. So it can happen both ways. It is a difficult issue to juggle and manage; however, my general view is that, as long as the proposal is consistent with the broader strategic directions of the government as outlined in its strategy documents, as outlined in the broad principles of the territory plan, then it is probably a reasonable thing to pursue.

That said, I think the committee's recommendation No 3 is reasonable. I believe it would be valuable for the committee to be advised of how a particular proposal is consistent with or fits in with the broader strategic directions that governments undertake through,


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