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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 785 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

site. So, why do it in this way? Why do it in this backhanded, roundabout, pre-emptive way? That is the very point that Ms Tucker makes in this motion.

If you are actually looking at the possibility of continued use of the Latham shops site for commercial purposes, why would you at this stage pre-empt this difficult, drawn-out and frustrating process that the residents of Latham have had to endure by selling off an immediately adjacent piece of land for residential purposes? Why would you do that when you are yet to determine an appropriate use and a use that is desired, quite clearly, by an overwhelming number of residents of Latham, namely, that the Latham shops site be retained and continued for viable commercial pursuits? You want to pre-empt that process by selling off the land adjacent. As I say, to proceed to the auctioning of block 3 is premature. To proceed now means that the government will be anticipating the commissioner's decision on the shopping site and assuming that there will be residences on the site.

What will happen if the development application is rejected? There is an assumption in all of this that the commissioner will accept the development application, namely, that the Latham shops be replaced by 19 residences and a corner store. What will we have if the government's pre-emptive strike or its anticipation of the commissioner's decision is wrong? We will have a small island of three residences between perhaps a commercial centre at the Latham shops, the preschool, the business in the old service station and a derelict shopping centre. Go and look at that site and imagine the prospects that would come from the auctioning of the site for residential purposes. We would have a derelict shopping centre, the old service station used as a shop and, behind the old service station used as a shop, three new residences. Adjacent to that, on the other side of that, taking up the rest of the space, we would have the preschool. That is what we would end up with: a derelict shopping centre in relation to which decisions have not been made, a service station being used as a shop, three brand new residences sitting in the middle of nothing and a preschool.

Why are we proceeding in this way at this time? In any case, and I think this is fundamental, the residents deserve an opportunity to comment on the site plan and its implications for the use of the area. There is a whole range of issues that the residents do have an interest in: traffic issues, access issues for the preschool, and just their commitment or determination to see the Latham shops site used for its intended purpose, namely, for commercial purposes.

As I indicated, the Labor Party will support Ms Tucker's motion. We believe that this is a pre-emptive, non-consultative and unusual way to proceed. There is simply no need for the government to sell these blocks at this time whilst there is significant work going on through the commissioner and PALM, fostered and facilitated by the residents group still seeking the outcome that the residents of Latham want in relation to the Latham shops site.


(3.56): It is interesting to hear the view of the Labor Party on this motion and on this section of Latham, given that one of my colleagues on the urban services committee, Mr Hird, will be aware that Mr Corbell has yet to present his dissenting report on the committee's thorough investigation of the Latham shops issue. The urban services committee looked at this issue over the last couple of years, and

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