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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 3723..


MR QUINLAN: On 20 July under section 229 of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991 the ACT Planning and Land Authority was directed to refer development application 200402290 to the minister. When complying with this direction, the authority was required to give the minister the information and documents received by the authority relevant to the application. On 29 July 2004 I advised the Planning and Land Authority by instrument N12004-262 of 29 July 2004 of my decision to consider the development application. That instrument was notified on the ACT legislation register.

After considering the issues relating to the application, including the objections lodged with the authority during the notification period and the advice of the ACT Planning and Land Council, I approved the application on 11 August 2004 using my powers under section 229 (b) of the Land Act. The application sought approval for the construction of a 14-storey office building of 26,001 square metres, plus 2,140 square metres of space for child care and retail and basement storage on blocks 3 and 4, section 88, in the city.

The application also sought approval to vary the lease to purpose clause to delete club, hotel, motel and 110 dwellings, to increase the permitted gross floor area of the building from 21,000 square metres to a maximum of 28,250 square metres and to reduce the maximum limits on a range of non-office uses. In deciding the application I gave careful consideration to the provision of tree protection measures for those trees to be retained, the achievement of sustainability initiatives and the provision of a safe pedestrian network.

I have imposed conditions on the approval that require the provision of a tree management plan for those trees to be retained within and adjacent to the site, the provision of a report detailing how the building will achieve a four-star Australian building greenhouse rating, and a community safety report in respect of common areas within and adjacent to the site. This proposal is consistent with the requirements of the territory plan. In this instance I used my call-in powers because I considered the proposal would have a substantial effect on the achievement of objectives of the territory plan in respect of Civic Centre. The criterion in section 229, subsection (2) (b) of the Land Act is as follows:

(2) The Minister may consider the application if, in the Minister's opinion-

(b) the application seeks approval for a development that may have a substantial effect on the achievement or development of objectives of the Territory Plan.

The proposal significantly contributes to maintaining and promoting Civic as the main commercial centre of Canberra and the region. The proposal is for a $100 million development with a number of beneficial consequences for implementation of the Canberra Central initiative which will ensure that Civic and the central area form a strong dynamic heart for the territory and surrounding region. This development would also ensure that a significant Australian government agency-the Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources-remains in Civic. At the same time, it would free up the department's current office space for other major tenants.

Section 229 (b) of the Land Act specifies that if I decide on an application I must, amongst other things, table a statement in the Legislative Assembly within three sitting


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