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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 April 2021) . . Page.. 1067 ..

MR PARTON: Minister, how do you expect struggling Canberrans to afford these electricity price increases? Do you suggest they simply stop ordering sparkling water at restaurants? That was Barr.

MS BERRY: I understand Mr Parton is talking about something else there. As I referred to in my previous answer, the ACT government is making sure that electricity is more affordable, particularly for those people who are vulnerable in our community.


MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. I refer to a Canberra Times article of 12 April 2021 revealing that the ACT government may push to reverse a planning decision which reduced the size of supermarkets allowed for local shops and contributed to issues at Coombs and other centres. Your government’s 2015 decision reduced the size of shops permitted on CZ4 land to 1,000 square metres while there remained a maximum of 1,500 square metres for stores on CZ5 land, favouring the larger shopping centres over the smaller independents. Minister, when will the changes to the 1,500 square metres come into effect?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mrs Jones for the question. It is an important question as we look at the effects of that particular decision back in 2015. We have seen that, I think, play out in some of the local shopping centres across the ACT. The original decision of course was to encourage local participation in supermarket policy and supermarket delivery across the ACT. But, as we have seen, it has not worked as expected. So it is appropriate we review that. We have started that process. I expect to see some Territory Plan variation amendments coming very shortly. I would imagine we will have that done, hopefully, by the end of the next few months.

MRS JONES: Minister, will you allow a change at the already built Coombs shopping centre to allow it internally to be expanded to fit a 1,500-square-metre shopping centre?

MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, it will be part of this process. We will certainly look at those shopping centres that do exist within the particular commercial zones to see if we can assist those owners to build larger shopping centres where appropriate and therefore encourage more tenancies for those areas.

MR BRADDOCK: Minister, will that also apply to the shops at Giralang, which have been vacant for 16 years?

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Braddock for the question. It is of course a matter for Giralang residents, and they have shown their concern over many years now. This is why I made the call to bring that through as a development application approval. Yes, Giralang will be part of that process and we will work as best we can to ensure that the owners of these shopping centres can bring the tenancies that they require.

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