Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1545 ..
• 18 September 2017 - a letter to surrounding residents notifying them of site investigations and the proposed release;
• 6 November 2017 - a further letter to surrounding residents establishing a mailing list and providing contact details for a project officer and an offer to respond to any questions;
• five project update emails between November 2017 and January 2018;
• 18 December 2017 - an invitation session held, with the date suggested by the residents;
• 5 January 2018 to 14 February 2018 - the Surveyor-General notified an intention to close the car park as part of amalgamating the site into a single block, with a request for public comment (the public comment period was 10 days longer than the statutory requirements to allow for community consideration of the proposal); and
• 7 February 2018 - a presentation at the Woden Valley Community Council meeting.
It is worth noting that Block 23, Section 31 O’Malley has been zoned for use by community facilities (CFZ) within the ACT Territory Plan since the early planning of O’Malley, with the adjacent car park also established to support the use. Following community concerns raised in 2012, the Territory Plan Variation 302 added restrictions to the O’Malley Precinct Code which prohibits the development of residential aged care and supportive housing on the site.
The decision to include the site in the Indicative Land Release Program 2017-18 to 2020-21 follows analysis of community needs and demand for community facilities in the area, particularly as the O’Malley area has developed from initial plans. The further decision to amalgamate the blocks and the car park servicing it, into one block is to provide the opportunity for the site to be looked at holistically.
In terms of the need for preserving the trees, I note that the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate has made an existing tree investigation for the site publicly available on the planning website: https://www.planning.act.gov.au/omalley.
This tree investigation indicates that there are a number of healthy trees which have the potential to make a contribution to the landscape. The retention of trees on-site will form part of any Development Application process for the site, and this will be subject to independent statutory review by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna. This is part of the overall framework that provides a mechanism for balancing development with environmental values.
I note the community interest in this proposal and I hope that this information provides the community some certainty that the Government is listening and seeking to investigate and address their concerns.
Downer community centre—petitions 1-18 and 5-18
By Mr Barr, Treasurer, dated 4 May 2018, in response to petitions lodged by Ms Le Couteur on 22 February 2018 concerning the Downer community centre lease arrangements.