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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 (19 October) . . Page.. 3287..


MR GENTLEMAN (continuing):

In my view, this variation adequately addresses the community's concerns relating to conflicting land uses. It also pays due regard to the views and recommendations of the planning and environment committee's report. I support the variation in the form that has been tabled as it extends precinct B into the eastern side of Jardine Street and reduces the impact of noise-generating activities on the residential area of section 22 Kingston.

If this variation is disallowed, the situation will revert to the existing policies in the territory plan, which allow uses such as clubs and drink establishments in part section 22. This will present further opportunity for lessees in that section to apply to vary their leases, permitting those particular uses such as drink establishments that the concerned residents are objecting to. For this reason, I will not be supporting the proposed disallowance motion.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.33), in reply: I thank Mr Corbell, Mr Seselja and Mr Gentleman for participating in this debate and for putting their views on the record, and I am very glad that they acknowledge the validity of the residents' concerns and that they recognise the complexity of issues involved. It is disappointing to me, of course, and no doubt to the residents, that each speaker has declined to support my motion for their different reasons. I just want to go through some of those reasons.

First of all, as far as I can see it, the issues are that the draft variation that the committee reported upon is significantly different, or different enough, from the final variation to elicit residents' concerns. It is my impression that the residents would have been reasonably happy if the draft variation, which is what was on the public record, had been adopted.

The second major issue is that question about equity between Jardine Street and Kennedy Street. Mr Corbell is entirely within his right to say, "Yes, but Kennedy Street had another zoning in the territory plan; it has a different designation."But the fact is that in practice it has had a similar sort of operation. There was the opportunity to formalise that operation and then this conflict would have gone away.

The residents, rightly or wrongly, heard the minister say that he recognised that inequity, and they thought that meant there would be some action and that the minister would talk to ACTPLA, which as we know is an independent authority but no doubt would take his advice, and that we would have seen something different. We would have seen the nexus between planning departments, governments and residents actually work.

We have got into a situation in this town where residents groups feel as though they never win; it is very hard for them to make an impact. Nearly every mechanism there was for them to be involved and to influence planning has gone. On my reading of the draft legislation, planning reform is going to make the possibility of influencing planning even more remote.

The residents actually did everything they could in all the statutory processes. They jumped through all the hoops, they went to meetings, they wrote submissions and they wrote letters. They did everything they could. And their arguments were sensible. I think it has been recognised by everybody here that we would have made the same arguments if the same thing was happening to us.


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