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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 709 ..

MR MOORE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. Indeed, I will provide you with some of the information you need, Mr Humphries, on their behalf; but I would also say to you that there is a very important principle that this raises, and that principle is the notion that, if we wish to achieve, as you claim you do, the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre in a rational way and also further improvement to the development of Tuggeranong, it requires an appropriate balance between office spaces in Civic and office spaces in the town centres. Can you explain to this Assembly how you expect to achieve getting office spaces in those town centres in terms of overall strategic policy?

MR HUMPHRIES: Can I indicate to Mr Moore that the decision about this particular site has been made in the context of a policy that applies to that whole part of North Canberra, particularly up the spine of Northbourne Avenue. It is not the case that this Government has changed that policy. It is a policy we have inherited; it is a policy we have left in place; it is a policy which is probably underpinned by elements of legislation and elements of the Territory Plan, which have been passed, of course, by this place. The height of buildings and the capacity to create things along that spine are matters that are not new to this Government. They are matters that have been in place for some time.

Mr Moore: The Territory Plan allows you to - - -

MR HUMPHRIES: Indeed, it does; and a decision has been made by a delegate in this case, based on the view that they were conforming with an existing policy relating to development of buildings along that spine. Mr Moore says, presumably on behalf of the Turner residents, that we should change that policy. I am quite prepared to consider that debate. It is an issue which we would put very firmly on the plate of the local area planning advisory committees and ask them to give us views about it. I might say that at least one local area planning advisory committee has told me that they would, in fact, like to see a greater capacity for there to be higher-density residential development along that spine, particularly in the B1 area, as a device to create certainty for those living outside the B1 area that development of that kind will not be necessary for their areas. Mr Speaker, that is the kind of policy change which I would certainly be very happy to consider should both members of LAPACs and others in the community put it before the Government.

The point is that the policy is there. It has not been created by this Government; it is there. Those who wish to change it should bring forward a case to change it, and I can tell you that I will be all ears, as will my colleagues, for consideration of those sorts of changes. But we need to have that put on our plate. Although for a number of years there have obviously been concerns from people like the Turner Residents Association about the general direction of planning policies in North Canberra, this Government is addressing that by other processes. But, if they have a general concern about that kind of development, then I am quite happy to consider an argument specifically about office development along that spine.

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