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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2662 ..

Papers and Ministerial Statement

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning): For the information of members, I present the following papers:

Land (Planning and Environment) Act - Approval of variation to the Territory Plan, together with background papers, copies of the summaries and reports and copies of any directions or reports required for Gungahlin Town Centre and Central Area (Variation No. 53).

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: May I start by thanking members of the Planning and Environment Committee for their cooperation in facilitating the tabling of this report today and consequently the approval of variation No. 53. It is the case that the five-sitting-day rule requires that, after the approval is tabled today, it has to lie on the table for the next five sitting days for work to begin on the town centre before the end of this year. Mr Moore rightly pointed out that that was in accordance with a commitment made by this Government before the last election that work would begin on the town centre before the end of this year. Might I indicate that it certainly goes beyond just that. As Mr Moore indicated, the people of Gungahlin have a very strong and quite understandable interest in seeing a strong level of attention paid to their own needs - in particular, their need for a significant centre for their region and a town centre with a number of facilities which those of us who live elsewhere in Canberra have come to expect and take for granted. It is extremely appropriate and important that we are able to put in place the beginnings of the process to have that town centre. I thank members of the Planning and Environment Committee for cooperating in that process.

Subsection 29(1) of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act requires that the variation be laid on the table for those five sitting days. I hope that members will agree that the report that has now been laid on the table and the plan that has been laid on the table offer a very high degree of quality, design and planning criteria for this town centre.

Mr Wood: Who did the work on it?

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank those who were responsible for the work on it, particularly Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp, who have been extremely important in the development of these guidelines and for the process that they undertook as managers of that public consultation phase that has seen an exceptional town centre design put forward. I also thank the Planning Authority and other members of the ACT Government Service. I do not think that I can overstate the importance of that plan. Mr Moore is right. This is the last town centre plan that we are going to approve for a very long time. It is also the first town centre plan that we have approved since self-government.

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