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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 October 2021) . . Page.. 2784 ..

Roads—William Hovell Drive

MS CLAY: My question is to the Minister for Transport and City Services. Minister, I have been approached by many Hawker residents who are concerned about the William Hovell Drive duplication, including a lack of consultation and the proposed location of the shared off-road path. I understand TCCS consultation was hampered by COVID last year, but there are firm consultation guidelines in the EIS scoping document for a range of communication methods to be used with stakeholders, including face to face, email and letters, community meetings and information sessions, digital and online tools, and website notifications. Consultation must occur as early as possible with the local community, community groups, business owners, and volunteer conservation or Landcare groups. We have heard that this is not taking place. Will there be specific consultations with the Belconnen Community Council, the Woden community council and the Molonglo Valley Community Forum?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. I note the importance of this project in duplicating William Hovell Drive, a 4.1-kilometre stretch of road, to improve capacity and connections to a major area of our city which is growing—the Ginninderra and west Belconnen region. A lot of this work is happening in the road reserve corridor.

A development application was lodged some time ago—in fact, prior to those pre-DA consultation guidelines being a requirement. There has now been an ongoing process of notification where the public has had the opportunity to have their say on the plans. That has been extended for a period of time, particularly during the lockdown, to enable the community to have their say on the plans and on the environmental impact statement in relation to the project.

We expect that this will be assessed by the planning authority. The planning authority will no doubt make some comments, and any comments that have been made will be incorporated into the detailed design stage of the project, which will get underway. Indeed, any comments from the public can be taken into consideration as well.

I should say that, as part of this project—and I mentioned this in an answer to Ms Clay in the past—we are planning on building a seven-kilometre shared path link. Only part of that link is part of the DA application. The further link to Bindubi Street will be built within the road reserve, as part of a separate process.

MS CLAY: Can that off-road shared path be located on the other side of William Hovell Drive, so that it does not impact on the well-loved walking track that is already there?

MR STEEL: I thank the member for her question. There are good reasons why it has to be located on that side of the road. I am happy to provide those on notice.

MR DAVIS: When will the online information sessions and other consultations with the local community take place?

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