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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 608 ..



Another site identified in the report is North Gungahlin, but the actual location and size of the site appear to be a movable feast. A failing of the paper is that the map provided does not indicate the actual areas being identified; it just indicates the general location with a star. The public is given no indication of the scale of the rural residential areas relative to other land uses. On page 49 the paper states that the North Gungahlin site is currently zoned for broadacre use. If you look at the Territory Plan, there is indeed an area to the north of Gungahlin and surrounded by open space that is zoned broadacre. However, on page 57 the paper states that the North Gungahlin site is identified for broadacre or low-density residential uses. Then on page 59, the North Gungahlin site is described as having an urban long-term use. The alternative use of this site for broadacre purposes seems to have been progressively ignored.

The other site identified is Kinlyside. Of course, we have already had much debate in this place about rural residential development there. The previous debate, however, was more about the process by which the site was given over to one developer rather than the suitability of the site for rural residential development. However, I am sure that to save some face over its past bungling the Government was keen to ensure that the paper identified Kinlyside as a good site for rural residential development. Despite this imperative, the paper still raises sufficient doubt about the acceptability of Kinlyside. I find it odd that Kinlyside has been identified for rural residential development when the table on page 55 indicates that there are many issues where further information is required for full assessment. In fact, the table indicates that environment, heritage and bushfire management issues require considerably more assessment as the paper was not even able to indicate whether these issues are likely to be an impediment.

In conclusion, the inconsistencies in this report make it ineffective as a comprehensive discussion paper on this controversial issue that will radically change the planning of Canberra's urban edge, if adopted. The paper indicates that pursuing rural residential development in the ACT does not make economic sense and that non-economic reasons would need to be drawn on to justify this type of development. However, the discussion paper fails to make a strong case that there are sufficient good reasons for why this type of development is appropriate in the ACT and fails to explain how all the environmental and other problems with rural residential development will be overcome. You just have to wonder how the Government made its original decision to promote rural residential development. This discussion paper, which was produced after the Government announced its intention to pursue rural residential development, certainly does not provide a good justification.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (3.47): It is curious that, if there are so many flaws in this report, not a single member of the Assembly bothered to put in a submission during the consultation period, but we will take on board what Ms Tucker has raised on this issue.

I might start by saying that the Assembly has, in fact, played a role in shaping the rural residential study. Following commencement of the study by TBA Planners in early April 1998, the Assembly passed a resolution - on 28 May 1998 - supporting the Government's commitment to rural residential development in the ACT. The consultants were then requested to extend, and agreed to the extension, the existing engagement to accommodate recognition of the Assembly's resolution. Mr Speaker, the additional work

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