Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 105 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

That is a necessary lever, a necessary influence, for the city to have in its capacity to manage and to plan well.

The commonsense thing to do is to have the 100 per cent change of use charge-because that is equity in relation to the individual and the community-and to give the community the capacity, via its government, to vary that or waive it so that we can redevelop particular areas. If we want to see the west part of Civic redeveloped rather than having buildings marching up Northbourne Avenue, for example, then we might be able to encourage that. We might be able to influence that for the betterment of the city.

I want to respond to one point in Mr Smyth's contribution. He talked about the government encouraging residential development in the city. I have said it before and I will say it again: I think that that was a very poor process. Under that banner, with significant assistance being given, we ended up with a hotel. It is called the Waldorf Apartments, but it is a hotel. And across the road, coincidentally belonging to exactly the same company, is a backpackers hostel. That is not bringing residential development to the city. I only entered into the debate because that seemed to be some defence of what the government is doing. It does not stand up. Waldorf stands as a condemnation of what this government has done and how it has acted and interacted with business over the last couple of years.

May I conclude by saying that this is the most sensible of legislation, because it gives the community the capacity to nudge redevelopment within a sensible plan but still allows market forces to operate. We accept that the large influence on redevelopment in town will be market forces. It will be changing community requirements in relation to the type and style of housing and possibly the need for us to ensure that, with the reduction of population per unit, various areas still have the critical mass to support the services of a community. If in a suburb where there are shops and schools the population has reduced, we may need to intensify to a critical mass to ensure the suburb is viable. As far as the city goes, I think we need an element of control, the ability to influence where development moves. If we give that up, then we are opening the place to straight open development and opportunism. I think we need the leverage.

MR RUGENDYKE (11.32): I do not think it is any real secret that my view is that 50 per cent is the appropriate level for change of use charge. So it will come as no surprise that I will not support something that maintains it as 100 per cent, albeit it with some unclear method of waiver.

I agree wholeheartedly with Professor Des Nicholls, who not long ago put out a very good report on this change of use issue that has been around for some time. It strikes me that after several years of turbulence in the level of the change of use charge Professor Nicholls was brought in as an independent umpire. It also strikes me that some people in this place disagreed with the umpire's opinion, so we are still having the debate.

We note from Professor Nicholls' report that until about 1970, when the change of use charge was at 50 per cent, there was stability. There was a long period of 20-odd years during which there was no change. Everybody knew where they stood and everybody got on with it. After 1970 the change of use charge kept being tampered with. It went up and down. That has led us to this point today.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .