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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3151..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

In its report No 29 of May 2004, the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment made four recommendations in relation to the draft variation. The committee's first recommendation was that the government facilitate more open competition through the application of more flexibility in the land use policies to provide the best opportunity for business to develop in the ACT. This recommendation has been achieved for draft 224, as the proposed land use policy allows the most appropriate alternative use to the current motel, taking into account the established land uses in the vicinity.

The proposed multi-unit housing on the site is consistent with the strategic direction contained within the spatial plan for achieving a more compact city in a sustainable and orderly manner. One of the key principles of the spatial plan is the encouragement of residential intensification within a 7.5 kilometre radius of the city centre close to existing major employment areas, transport routes, and services and facilities. Medium density residential redevelopment on the block will achieve the objectives contained in the spatial plan and the sustainable transport plan.

The site is located within a few kilometres of the city centre and the opportunity exists for residents to patronise public transport and utilise other transport modes such as walking and cycling to access places of employment, local retail and community and recreation facilities.

The committee's second recommendation was that the government take more care in being seen to generate changes in land use policy that are the result of specific requests of private developers. A rigorous planning process is followed by the ACT Planning and Land Authority when evaluating and determining the viability and appropriateness of a territory plan variation, whether developer initiated or otherwise.

In most cases, including the current proposal, the process involves the submission of a comprehensive planning study prepared by a suitably qualified person describing the existing planning framework; the human, physical, and biological effects of the proposal; the statement and policy context; development options; and the details of public consultation undertaken by the proponent. This document is thoroughly assessed by the authority and advice sought from the Planning and Land Council prior to any determination regarding the initiation of a draft variation.

The committee's third recommendation was that all future draft variations include a statement to show where the change in land use policy is either consistent or inconsistent with all the current strategic planning documents released by the ACT government, which provides strategic frameworks for Canberra's future.

The ACT Planning and Land Authority will henceforth ensure that all draft variations incorporate a statement of the planning context for the proposal including an assessment against the current strategic planning documents such as neighbourhood plans, the Canberra plan, spatial plan, social plan, economic white paper and sustainable transport plan. The committee's fourth recommendation was that it endorse draft variation 224 as a variation to the territory plan.

I now table variation to territory plan No 224.

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