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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 1762 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Mr Hargreaves's motion is quite a reasonable one. Mr Smyth's amendment still contains a reference to the Commissioner for the Environment, but it is clear from the debate that this should read "the Environment Management Authority". This has not been amended. Someone may wish to amend it now. We want to make it clear what we are asking the Urban Services Committee to look at. The understanding is that it is not quite correct to send plans to the Commissioner for the Environment; the Environment Management Authority is the appropriate body.

Mr Hargreaves's approach, in his motion, to what are, basically, contaminated sites is a quite reasonable one. It is about imposing a polluter-pays principle on clean-up of these sites, which is a good principle. We already know that a number of old sites have been redeveloped for other uses, even houses, I understand - residential development - and shops. Contamination is a serious issue so we seek support for this motion. We are also supportive of it going to the Urban Services Committee, with the amendment that I have described. I move:

Paragraph (1), after "vacation of site" insert "provided that attempts to pass the petrol station site to a new lessee for the purpose of continuing the petrol station business have been unsuccessful,".

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (12.27): I support Ms Tucker's proposal. I think it goes to a very important aspect of the motion. I support Mr Smyth's suggestion as well. It is a worthwhile proposal. This is a much broader debate than one about service stations. We need to ensure that, if service stations are eventually closed, they are restored appropriately so that suburbs do not have to bear the scar, the very ugly scar sometimes, of a closed service station. They do seem to degenerate very quickly and very badly.

The broader issue, as I have mentioned previously, that we need to devote more attention to is the overall degeneration of a significant number of community shopping centres and associated service stations throughout Canberra. A significant number of suburban shopping centres, including service stations, are simply moribund, defunct, and are closing down. There are communities now that are being forced to go without a basic community focus.

The way Canberra has been planned and developed, the local shopping centre has been a focus of the community. In some suburbs now we are left with no shopping centre and there is no church. You are lucky if there is a school. The school is the only centre of the community within the entire suburb. I will not labour this point now, but I think it is incredibly important. We in this Assembly must keep uppermost in our minds the fact that, through an aggregation of planning or processes of development of Canberra and the ageing of Canberra, we are in danger of destroying a spirit of the community, a sense of community, in significant areas of Canberra.

Amendment (Ms Tucker's) agreed to.

Amendment (Mr Smyth's), as amended, agreed to.

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