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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 171 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

To ensure that that occurs, I support what Mr Corbell is doing because I believe that when this place makes a resolution and when the minister accepts that resolution and conveys it to the public servants involved, there is no room for that resolution and that directive to be totally ignored, as has happened in this case.

MS TUCKER (7.52): I agree with Mr Kaine and Mr Corbell on this matter. The issue of dual occupancies in the Red Hill heritage precinct has gone beyond a planning matter to one about Assembly procedures. In June of last year, Mr Corbell put up a motion recommending that the executive direct the ACT planning authority to review the Territory Plan-and this is the key point-to provide for a development intensity of no more than one dwelling on any block within the Red Hill housing precinct.

I understand that after the vote, Brendan Smyth wrote to the executive director of PALM directing him to review the plan as per the motion. However, PALM did not follow the intent of the motion. It commissioned a consultant to determine whether a further variation to the Territory Plan would be required and whether development should be restricted to one dwelling per block. In effect, PALM was questioning the motion rather than implementing it.

The consultancy study concluded that development did not need to be restricted to one dwelling per block and that dual occupancies were acceptable, provided various new setback requirements were met. Surprisingly, as other members have said, Mr Smyth accepted PALM's review and tabled the consultant's report in the Assembly last November, despite the fact that it was not in accordance with the June motion.

Either Mr Smyth did not understand the original motion or he was supportive of PALM's undermining of the motion. The style of wording of the motion in referring to a review of the plan was obviously derived from section 37 of the land act. Perhaps Mr Corbell could have used more precise wording. However, the intent of the motion was absolutely clear, that is, that the Territory Plan should be changed to allow for only one dwelling.

The minister and PALM have misinterpreted the word "review" in this context. I am not sure that this was done on purpose but I suspect that it was, given their previous commitment to dual occupancy in the Red Hill heritage precinct and their opposition to Mr Corbell's motion.

Mr Corbell has now put up a motion clearly directing the government to do what it should have done in the first place, which is to provide for a development density of no more than one dwelling per block in the Red Hill precinct. In line with my support of Mr Corbell's earlier motion, I will be supporting this one.

I have also examined the consultant's review of the Red Hill housing precinct and do not find its arguments to be compelling. The heritage significance of this area relate to the high ratio of garden areas to buildings. The area contains very large blocks and very low building densities. The review concludes that it is the relationship of the landscape to the built form which gives the area its heritage significance and not whether there is one house per block. However, the review does not acknowledge that restricting development to one house per block is a valid and effective way of preserving the area's significance. It assumes that there will be further development in the area and that it is possible to set

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