Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 August 2021) . . Page.. 2246 ..
Your petitioners therefore request the Assembly to:
a) Call on the ACT Government to amend the Red Hill Integrated Plan to remove the retirement village on the Federal Golf course and access road off Kitchener Street.
b) We also request the Assembly reject amendments to the Territory Plan that would enable housing development on the site of the Federal Golf Course.
The Clerk having announced that the terms of the petition would be recorded in Hansard and a copy referred to the appropriate minister for response pursuant to standing order 100, the petition was received.
Motion to take note of petition
MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:
That the petition so lodged be noted.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (10.01): This petition of certain residents of the Australian Capital Territory draws to the attention and requests that the Assembly notes that ACT residents have been fighting housing development proposals on the Federal golf course and loss of adjacent green space for over 30 years. The fight led to a petition signed by 3,100 concerned residents in 2017, calling on the ACT government to develop an integrated plan that genuinely protects existing green space in Hughes, Garran and Deakin and protects the Federal golf course lease area.
In response, a Legislative Assembly resolution required that the plan limited development to proposals that have a reasonable likelihood of majority community support. The Red Hill integrated plan released in 2011 fails, in the petition’s view, to deliver on the petition or resolution by including a retirement village on the Federal golf course, despite the EPSDD’s engagement report finding that the retirement village failed to receive the required majority community support. The petitioners therefore request the Assembly to amend the Red Hill integrated plan to remove the retirement village and also request the Assembly to reject amendments to the Territory Plan enabling this development.
Between the Assembly e-petition tabled yesterday and the paper petition tabled today, 1,721 Canberrans have signed the petition. I agreed to sponsor the petition because, as a local member, I believe very strongly in the voice of the people. I do not propose that government must always do what is popular. However, I do believe that the people are the power behind our system, and if government are going to disagree with the community, they should do so openly and explain their reasons.
The government has set in train a process for the approval of this project. It involves, as I said, an amendment to the Territory Plan. It also involves the draft master plan. The resolution which led to the creation of the integrated plan states that “only development with a reasonable likelihood of majority community support” should be considered.