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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3134 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

The club had listened to the community concerns and the concerns of the Government and revised the proposal. As Mr Smyth has said, the club did so in some key ways. The current proposal does not involve the acquisition of any territory land. The stormwater retention ponds will be contained entirely within the club's lease. Further, the number of dwellings has been reduced - albeit, not significantly - to 59 but, most significantly, the nature conservation area has been expanded by nearly three hectares to 9.221 hectares. The Government considered that this proposal was sufficiently different from the former proposal to enable it to be considered.

In November 1998, the club lodged a development application with PALM. That triggered the formal consultation processes required by the Land Act. The development application also triggered a mandatory preliminary assessment as the gross floor area of the proposed housing development exceeded 7,000 square metres. The development application and the preliminary assessment were publicly notified concurrently, with the public consultation closing on 21 December of last year. In total, 408 public submissions were received as a result.

The preliminary assessment concluded that, whilst there was clearly a very high level of public concern about the proposal, there was no fundamental reason not to proceed with a draft variation to the Territory Plan. Accordingly, a draft variation was released - again for public comment - in March 1999. Key features included allowing for 59 dwellings on a 4.703-hectare site within the club's lease and the expansion of the nature reserve by including 9.221 hectares of the club's lease within the hills, ridges and buffer areas land use policy. This land was to become public land. That was confirmed today by my colleague Mr Smyth.

There were 173 written submissions received on the draft variation. Of those, 117 submissions opposed the proposals. The other 56, including a submission from the Federal Golf Club with a petition of 399 signatures, supported the proposals. A wide range of issues was raised, including land use and tenure issues, recreation impacts, traffic, and nature conservation and landscape issues. These issues were considered by PALM, but it was concluded that they did not warrant the draft variation being revised before referral to the Government.

Then, of course, the Urban Services Committee became involved and we know already from their report that they decided 2:1 to allow the matter to proceed. That committee, as part of its consideration, took a range of consultative steps and called for further submissions; so we have had a very good track record of significant consultation all the way along, as is entirely appropriate and, indeed, very necessary in matters as serious as this one.

The committee held the initial public hearing on 3 September. It visited the site with representatives of the club and the community on 6 September. PALM responded to issues raised at a further meeting on 17 September. At the end of this process the committee in its report recommended that the draft variation be endorsed. I note Mr Corbell's objection. Perhaps it is a little strange, given the track record of the Labor Party in terms of approving proposals for Capital, Yowani and Belconnen. Mr Smyth has indicated the difference in size in relation to those.

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