Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (21 February) . . Page.. 108 ..

MS HORODNY (continuing):

of the problems faced by small retailers in the ACT and actually move to make the gears and levers fairer? What will the Government do in the meantime to ensure that any expansion of retail space in Manuka and Tuggeranong does not cause further and possibly irreparable damage to small retailers?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Ms Horodny for the question. It is actually a good question. There is a very real question about the impact on shops in South Canberra as a result of the proposals to expand retailing at Manuka. As Ms Horodny would know, the Government did announce early last year that it was going to proceed to call for expressions of interest for section 41 at Manuka. It subsequently withdrew that process for a number of reasons, primarily the Government's intent that there should be a retailing strategy in place in the Territory before such time as we proceed to release that land.

That strategy may have a number of elements. We will include in that strategy information about trading hours in the Territory, about the social impact of small shops particularly on the communities of this Territory, information of a technical nature from bodies such as the Ibecon report, and other information coming to hand to the Government to allow us, for the first time in this Territory's history, to start to plan a strategy that will make viable those small businesses that have been so badly battered about in recent days. Most of us would live in or near a suburb that has had a shop or shops close recently, and this Government is not intent on letting that continue if it can design a better way of managing the process of change in the community to allow people access, where possible, to local retailing facilities, particularly for those basic things that people who might not be particularly mobile, who might have no access to ready transport, would need - basic foodstuffs and so on.

The decision about section 41 at Manuka is not imminent. It will await the development of that strategy. The pieces I spoke of are now falling into place. I hope to be releasing in the next couple of days the social impact study of retailing and smaller shops in the Territory, and I hope that well before the middle of this year there will be that strategy in place, and decisions on major expansion of centres like Manuka and town centres will then be able to flow based on that strategy.

MS HORODNY: I ask a supplementary question. When will all these retail studies be available and how will they be pulled together? What are you going to do to ensure that small businesses are protected in the meantime, while these studies are being conducted?

MR HUMPHRIES: When will they be available? I think the answer is that it should be in the next two or three months. I have asked, for example, for further work on some areas of these proposals for expansion of various areas. I want to make sure that the information is comprehensive and complete before I, as Minister for Planning, agree to any changes. What will we do in the meantime? The simple answer is that we will not allow significant expansion of any of these town centres or group centres to occur until that takes place. That is a very simple response to that. I forget the third component of that question, but I think I have probably covered it in answering the first two.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .