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I would like to move on to Mr Humphries’s comments on suburban shopping centres. There was a question at question time today about the possible expansion of Manuka. As I recall the retail study that I saw, there was even some suggestion that in some way the extension of Manuka would be almost for Woolworths. I understand that that was a mistake and that there will be an open auction of any land. We have to ask ourselves what will happen if we expand Woolworths at Manuka. Will it mean the death knell for the Kingston shopping centre, which is already struggling, for Deakin, for Yarralumla, for Red Hill? These are very critical questions for suburban shopping centres. As you raise the general issue, I think you have to keep in mind the specific problems we have in front of us at this very moment. I know that some people have questions about the specific study that was released a couple of weeks ago. It is appropriate that such studies receive comments. I suggest that Mr Humphries look around for comments on that study and assess whether or not they carry any real weight.
Next I would like to comment on the local area planning advisory committees. On page 9 of the statement Mr Humphries states:
This Government believes that, generally, local residents are responsible enough to be entrusted with a continuing role in the shape and direction of their neighbourhoods.
The “generally” clearly excludes dual occupancy. Page 10 states:
Dual occupancy proposals will be covered by existing rules and will not be subject to the scrutiny of LAPACs.
It further states:
The LAPACs will be advisory only. They will have referred to them for comment any of the following issues ...
He gives a range of those. I have no problems with those. I think that is positive. But what appears to be missing is giving them the initial say in how they want to control their own neighbourhoods - in other words, giving them the opportunity, if you like, of a mini-strategic plan for their own suburbs. That is something that we need to address.
I note that on the bottom of page 10 you talk about “awareness guidelines which set a policy agenda for their area of Canberra”. To a certain extent, I think that reaches what I am looking for; but I think it needs to be more extensive, so that effectively they can be involved in writing a strategic plan, clearly subject to the overall strategic plan for Canberra, for their own area. That will develop more certainty in the area -