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I return to the issue at hand. The Conder shops supermarket will be 2,500 square metres maximum, with provision for extensions if future demand requires. We see that size as appropriate to preserve the value of existing small shops in the Tuggeranong Valley. That is the difference between this Government's policies and those of the previous Government. We will look at what is already taking place in the marketplace. Anybody observing the conduct of retailing in this town can see that small businesses are already under pressure. Many businesses are not viable because governments have been too free in pushing additional retail space into the marketplace. That was a major mistake of previous government policy. Despite what Mr Wood says, it was not a matter of agreement across the chamber. That has never been discussed on the floor of the chamber, to my knowledge. It is a question of government policy alone. This Government's policy will be to rein back the amount of space available in the marketplace.

We will be doing the same in respect of residential housing in the Territory. The previous Government pushed 4,000 new dwelling spaces into the housing market each year for the last few years. The result was a glutted market and declines in the value of Canberrans’ housing in that period of time. That policy must end. This Government has announced that it will significantly reduce - in fact, halve - the amount of new land put into the marketplace in this financial year, in order to shore up the value of Canberrans’ homes. That is particularly important for new home owners. New home owners go in with high costs. They suffer a heavy mortgage, as a general rule. The last thing they need to see is a decline in the value of their home as soon as they buy it. That means that the gap between their liabilities and their assets widens at the very point in time when they cannot afford that to happen. We want to make sure that that is not the trend of the future. We want to put some value back into Canberrans’ housing.

I wish to talk briefly about LAPACs. I was also surprised, as was Mr Kaine, by the many criticisms from Ms Horodny about LAPACs. She says that the system has many flaws. I do not guarantee that we have LAPACs right, Ms Horodny. But let me say this: This is the first time in ACT planning history that we have asked the citizens of the Territory to be involved in the ongoing process of consultation about matters affecting their own communities directly. That is a step that has not been taken previously. We are pioneering it with LAPACs. There will be problems. Let me make that perfectly clear.

I hope that the Assembly will realise that it is in the interests of all of us to work on getting those issues right, not to harp on the sidelines about the mistakes, not to try to destroy the process of LAPAC decision-making. If we do that, Mr Speaker, we will end up with a system which does not deliver on the objective, which we all share, of community involvement in this process. We will go back to the days when the Canberra planning system was seen widely as a total and utter mess. We must avoid that regime returning. We believe that we should be doing that through this process. Let us work through the problems as they arise.

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