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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 789 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The government is proposing to release this land for residential use in accordance with the development controls laid out under the local centres land use policy of the Territory Plan. The Territory Plan makes clear that residential redevelopment which involves decreasing the total gross floor area for commercial purposes in a centre by more than 50 per cent may only be approved where it can be substantiated that the local centre is no longer commercially viable. Unfortunately for the residents of Latham, that clause does not apply to this parcel of land because it does not have any retail space on it; in fact, it has nothing on it. If it was already a shop site, the government and the development proponent would have to argue why they believe it was no longer viable for commercial use. The irony is that in the Territory Plan this parcel of land is for commercial land use. It is set aside for retail facilities, a service station, a shop and a range of other things.

I think it was always the intention of this place that residential development be allowed on commercial land use land like this only if the local centre was no longer viable. Unfortunately, the way the draft variation is worded means that, even though this land shows up on the Territory Plan as commercial, the government can sell it as residential. The question I have in relation to this proposal is: why is the government insisting in the lease conditions for block 3 section 31 Latham that the lease purpose can only be for three residential dwellings? Why, when the land use policy says commercial and permits a range of uses, including business agency, financial establishment, indoor entertainment facility, office, restaurant or shop, is the government saying that the only use it will allow for this land is residential? That suggests to me a number of things. The one I would speculate on here is that perhaps it is simply an opportunity to allow the development proponent at the Latham shops to expand their proposal onto this parcel of land.

Mr Speaker, I think there are good reasons for this proposed land release not to proceed until the question of the future of the Latham shops themselves is addressed. That is all this motion proposes and it should be supported.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (4.16): Mr Speaker, I have followed the debate here and in the community with interest. It has been a fairly long and tortuous saga. I noted the comments made by the opposition that Mr Hird and Mr Rugendyke were not really addressing the issue of Ms Tucker's motion. I think they were, because these blocks are very much intertwined. Even Ms Tucker has called for the postponement of the proposed auction of block 3 until the development application for block 1 is resolved and, depending on the outcome of the redevelopment proposal, there has been a review of the development conditions for block 3. Anyone who knows the area will know that the three blocks are very much intertwined. I think it was quite appropriate for Mr Hird and Mr Rugendyke to make the comments they made.

Mr Rugendyke mentioned that there had been 10 plans. I am sure he is right there. I have certainly seen a few. The shops have been damaged by fire. I do not believe that that was the case initially. I can recall going to an initial meeting there and there was a desire expressed by some members of the community to have more retail outlets there and there were some questions about whether the landlord was being a bit too difficult there or there were some groups that wanted to go in and could not go in because of the potential redevelopment. That is why it was very important that the urban services committee look at all of it.

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