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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3361 ..


per hectare to 20 dwellings per hectare by increasing the zoning for multi-unit housing adjacent to some areas of the open space and central area of the site. Twelve dwellings per hectare is, I believe, considerably less than that even in suburbs like Ainslie, Dickson and Downer, which are old suburbs with larger blocks of land where there has not yet been any substantial urban infill. The idea that we would be developing new areas at 12 dwellings per hectare in such a central area, given the pressures on Canberra and the needs for a compact city, seems silly, so I very strongly support the committee’s recommendation that we support the notion of increased density in Lawson South.

The committee’s recommendation 4 is that zone codes should reinforce the desired character of the streetscape, and that goes to the current consultation process on draft territory plan variation 303. I believe ACTPLA and the government need to do a substantially better job in terms of consulting with the community about what it is that the community thinks are in the different zones, what it is that we, as a community, are happy with around us. The consultation to date has been woeful.

The only public meeting so far on this subject has been one held by the Woden community council. Quite a few members of the public were there, but you have to realise that the only people who knew about it were people on the Woden community council’s mailing list. That is just not good enough for something as important as draft territory plan 303, which sets out how all residential development happens in the ACT, and draft territory plan variation 301, which sets out how all the subdivisions occur in the ACT. Our recommendation touches slightly on that, but I would like to touch even more on that: we need substantially better consultation in the ACT on these important issues. I have written—I think it was two weeks ago—to the Minister for Planning saying exactly what I have said just now to the Assembly.

Moving along, recommendation 5 is about community gardens, and the Greens will be putting in our submission on the 303 residential subdivision that, where there are areas of significant multi-unit development, it should be a mandatory requirement to have community gardens. As Ms Porter said, in multi-unit developments, people do not have backyards to grow their vegies in. A lot of people like to grow vegies, and it is also something that is really important for the long-term sustainability and resilience of Canberra. It is also just a really nice social community thing to have. Canberra has got quite a few community gardens already. They generally have waiting lists for plots in them. They are an asset to the community, and they will, I am sure, be an asset to the community of Lawson South.

Pedal Power identified that we needed to put a bit more effort into the trunk cycling routes. I obviously agree with recommendation 6—that is, they should be identified at the concept planning stage.

The next recommendation is that ACTPLA needs to be substantially involved in the urban design of the open space in Lawson South. Again, this goes with the idea that quite a bit of Lawson South will be reasonably high density, multi-unit development. If we are to make multi-unit developments attractive, part and parcel of that is high-quality public open space. That is what we are saying—we need to have high-quality public open space so that our multi-unit developments are great places to live. We felt that ACTPLA needs to be involved with that.


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