Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 2 Hansard (27 February) . . Page.. 334 ..
MS TUCKER: My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning, Mr Humphries. I refer the Minister to proposals for the Gungahlin lakeside development of package boundaries L1, L2 and L3 alongside Gundaroo Drive. Have any formal or informal agreements been made with developers regarding proposed developments on these blocks? If so, what is the nature of these agreements?
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Ms Tucker for the question because it does address an issue which has been floating around the media, I think, in the Gungahlin Chronicle. It was raised a little while ago. Mr Speaker, I am not aware of any agreements, formal or otherwise, with any developers for the use of that land. The land, however, is designated under the Territory Plan as land available for residential development - medium-density residential development, as I recall. The suggestion has been made by the Gungahlin Community Council that there is a major problem with this. They have raised a number of issues, not directly with me or with my office, or, as far as I am aware, with other members of the Government - I do not speak categorically on that, but as far as I am aware that is the case - about the need to preserve the foreshores of Gungahlin Pond as an area for public access.
Mr Speaker, it is the Government's intention that there be public access to the foreshore. At no point will development reach the lake's edge or the pond's edge. At the nearest point housing is 50 metres from the edge of the pond, and it averages more than 100 metres throughout the area where the development abuts the pond. I believe that there is an opportunity with that kind of development for there to be substantial public access to the pond. The land has been zoned for housing development since the first day that the plan was drawn up for Gungahlin. It has not changed. It has not been cemented in place any more than it was before.
I am disturbed by the suggestions that this has been raised before by the Gungahlin Community Council. I have written to the council asking them what their concerns are, because I had not heard their concerns before I read about them on the front page of the Gungahlin Chronicle published recently. I am very happy to talk to them about concerns they might have, but the concern that they raised in that publication was the lack of urban open space for residents of Gungahlin. Mr Speaker, they have a point when they say that. There has been a shortage of open space for residents of Gungahlin, I think, in some parts of Gungahlin, and this Government has responded to that request by setting aside 500 hectares of open space for preservation of native grasslands. The ACT's first native grassland reserve will also be designed to protect the habitat of the legless lizard, Delma impar. I think there is need to get more open space. If they want to change the Territory Plan to withdraw land that is already designated for housing, I am very willing to discuss that; but I think it is best for the point to be made directly to the Government or the Minister rather than in a form which is very hard for us to respond to.