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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 February 2018) . . Page.. 118 ..


and charges. There is no change to the planning process for anyone wishing to knock down something and build something better.

We all know that the wide belief of industry is that if the lease variation charge were abolished there is a high likelihood that wonderful new buildings would spring up left, right and centre in our town centres. But somehow those opposite cannot get past their ideological hurdles, although from the discussions I have had with Mr Gentleman and even the comments from Mr Steel—who, it must be said, is quite passionate about Woden town centre, and I do admire that passion—I look forward to this impending LVC announcement, as I know many others in the community do.

There is an assumption from Ms Le Couteur that if we push the regulatory responsibility from one agency to another, magically things will happen, even though there is no change whatsoever to the planning framework. The only result from Ms Le Couteur’s original motion is that she gets to appear in a public space saying that she has done something, when in reality we have done nothing.

I am new to the planning portfolio as a shadow minister. When this motion came to me and the party last week, I said to my colleagues that at the end of the day I was looking here for the best possible policy outcome and that, where possible in this space, we really must strip the politics away from it. I have consulted as widely as I could in the short time available. I have spoken to industry and community members. I have met with Ms Le Couteur. I have met with Mr Gentleman. I have tried to find a way to support this motion, but I cannot.

I am relieved to see that the Labor Party has shown the contempt for this motion that I think it deserves. The amendments put forward by Mr Barr diminish this motion to a fluffy piece of nothing, really. Although we have enormous problems with the decision and the process of the splitting of the LDA and the way that it has been done, and although we do not wholeheartedly agree with parts 1 and 2 of the amendments to come, the notes to that section, we will be happy to support the government’s amendments on the basis of their watering down the original motion to a meaningless Greens soundbite.

I do not share Mr Steel’s optimism for Woden town centre, but, as I said earlier, I admire his passion in the space. I know that he is working hard in that space, as are some members of the government, and I look forward to things improving in Woden Town Centre.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (10.49): I thank Ms Le Couteur for putting Woden and other town centres on our agenda today, not because I support her motion as it is written but because I believe we should be clear and honest about our views on this and other planning issues. I have never met a person who believes that Woden town centre is what it could and should be. I understand that some of our other town centres are also ageing.

There are a lot of good arguments to be made about a history of planning failures. In the case of Woden town centre we have inherited many issues, dating back, as Ms Le Couteur pointed out, to the 1960s. If we had a chance to do Canberra over it


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