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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 783 ..

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (3.45): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party will support the motion. A development application for the Latham shops is currently with PALM. The application is for approval to demolish the shops and erect 19 two-storey townhouses with a single storey shop on the site of the shops and the surrounding territory land. I think the point could be reasonably made now that Ms Tucker and Mr Hird were talking about two completely different blocks of land. Ms Tucker's motion does not go to the block of land on which the shops are located; it goes-

Mr Hird: She is asking the developer to hold up.

MR STANHOPE: Yes, on the adjacent block of land. Mr Hird, you have missed the point. You need to rewrite your speech and actually address the motion. The motion is addressed to block 31, not to the Latham shops.

Mr Hird: No, it is not block 31; it is block 1 section 31.

MR STANHOPE: Block 3 section 31, which is not the block on which the Latham shops are located. Unfortunately, Mr Hird, your entire speech was misplaced, though it did relate to what is happening at the Latham shops site.

Mr Hird: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for that.

MR STANHOPE: There is a relationship, Mr Hird. It is a pity, though, that you did not address Ms Tucker's motion.

At public meetings, in correspondence with me and other MLAs and before the Standing Committee on Planning and Urban Services, the inquiry Mr Hird refers to, the residents of Latham have made clear their dissatisfaction with the situation at the shopping centre and various proposals to redevelop it. The residents of Latham quite clearly want shops at Latham and they want the restoration of the current derelict site. The fact that the residents of Latham do find the site an eyesore, do find the dereliction very frustrating, is something with which I do agree with Mr Hird, but we do disagree in terms of what it is that the residents of Latham want to happen at the site. They quite clearly want the site to be used for the purpose for which it is there, namely, for commercial purposes. They quite clearly do not want the site to be converted solely into residential use. But, over and above all of this, the residents of Latham want to be consulted fully on any redevelopment proposal. They do not want the recycling of proposals that they have already rejected.

A public meeting at Latham Primary School in June 2000-I believe that Mr Stefaniak was there and can attest to this-rejected overwhelmingly the then proposal from the owner for 14 residential units and seven mixed use residential/commercial units. It is not surprising that the residents association rejected the current proposal and that a large number of objections have been lodged with PALM. I understand that PALM is about to refer the development application to the Commissioner for Land and Planning for decision. A decision by the commissioner in favour of the developers is unlikely to be well received by the Latham community. If the commissioner rejects the application, the owners will need to come up with a workable proposal. If they do not, the minister will have to consider strong action.

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