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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (20 April) . . Page.. 1019 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

mooted in 1991, with the release of the draft Territory Plan. Since that time, due to ongoing community involvement, the Territory Plan proposals for this area have been under constant review. The list is quite impressive. It lists the draft Territory Plan of October 1991, the Territory Plan of October 1993, the B1 guidelines, the Lansdown review in 1994, draft variation No. 33, draft variation No. 58, draft variation No. 82 and draft variation No. 109. Each of these have included draft proposals, community consultation, public meetings, revised proposals, reports to the ACT Executive and ongoing review of development projects. Changes have been occurring constantly. Whilst that process has undoubtedly led to an overall improvement to the planning policies for this area, it has also been very unrelenting and daunting for many of the residents.

Draft variation No. 109 and the urban housing code are the result of the above ongoing planning work in consultation with the community. Draft variation No. 109 and the urban housing code establish a planning framework which effectively balances the sometimes conflicting objectives of providing for both the redevelopment opportunities and the protection of amenity for those residents who wish to remain in their existing homes.

Draft variation No. 82, the precursor to draft variation No. 109, was considered by the former Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Planning and Environment in October and November 1997. The committee reported in November 1997, not endorsing the draft variation and making a number of recommendations, which included the need for further community consultation and for the section master plan concept to be further developed. The report of the standing committee was considered by the Government and the recommended variation, No. 82, was returned to PALM by the ACT Executive, with a direction that there should be further consultation with relevant residential groups.

PALM subsequently reworked the proposals of the recommended variation, taking into account the standing committee's recommendation and the direction of the ACT Executive, and five meetings were then conducted with resident groups concerning the provisions of draft variation No. 109. Draft variation No. 109 was then released for public comment on 16 May 1998, with the closing date for comments being 29 June 1998. Some 30 written submissions were received in relation to draft variation No. 109, raising issues concerning uncertainty, demand and values, traffic and transport, development assessment processes, long-term planning, density, section master plans, minimum block size, mixed developments, and the urban housing code.

The comments are indicative of the varied opinion of residents about how their local area should develop. The purpose of public consultation in the planning process is to expose the range of views, so that all opinions can be considered and a balanced decision can be made. The proposed policy and code are seen as being the most appropriate means for providing opportunity for redevelopment and introducing a wider housing choice, whilst protecting the environmental qualities and the amenity of the area.

The concerns expressed by residents about uncertainty and their difficulty with making decisions about sales and/or investments in their properties is understood. It is also acknowledged that uncertainty can contribute to the degradation of an area. Draft

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