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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1083 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Mr Corbell referred to the six-metre dimension for private open space and its effect on trees. The minimum dimension of six metres for private open space is the same as in the current codes in the Territory Plan introduced under Labor in 1993. It remains unchanged under ACTCode 2. However, ACTCode 2 introduces further provisions which require additional space to be provided to protect trees on blocks. ACTCode 2 requires existing trees to be identified so that they are considered in the assessment process and allows appropriate decisions to be made about protection or removal and replacement.

Mr Corbell said that there is no specific protection for suburbs of heritage and territorial significance. Again, he is wrong. ACTCode 2 includes requirements that ensure that new development in areas of territorial significance is compatible with existing development. These requirements are augmented for heritage areas by the specific requirements listed in the Heritage Places Register or Interim Heritage Places Register.

Mr Corbell said that there is no protection of streetscape. Wrong again. In fact, ACTCode introduces a specific element, element 4.1, dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of Canberra's streetscape and landscape character. The new code puts more emphasis on producing residential areas of high visual quality, including both the public and private components that contribute to the identity and character of the neighbourhood-for example, landscape, building appearance, design, fences, walls and tree protection. The code introduces a concept of streetscape concept plans. These plans will be required wherever it is proposed to develop a new public or communal street. The element also includes specific provisions for multiunit housing and requirements for street tree planting.

This is an ill-founded motion, and it should be seen for what it is-a political stunt. Our Planning Authority has the power to gazette the variation. The Assembly, rightly, has no say in that. We have well-developed statutory consultation processes. There will be information seminars and the opportunity for members of the public to consider the facts, make their views known and have the Assembly in due course consider a draft variation.

MRS BURKE (8.12): The Canberra community is a changing community. The planning of the city needs to respond, therefore, to the changing community demands. We must consider that 52 per cent of households are now in fact one or two persons. Lifestyle changes, along with increasing separation and divorce, are going to impact also. The ageing population over 60 years is forecast to increase from 36,000 to 59,000 between 2000 and 2001. There is also an increased demand for higher density housing. Multiunit dwellings are now 44 per cent of dwelling demand. Reduced demand for the quarter acre block is evident.

The population decline in Canberra Central will also have to be taken into account. Whereas that population was 83,000 in the mid-1960s, it is now down to about 60,000. This has resulted in underutilised infrastructure-for example, roads, shops and open space. The average dwelling occupancy in Canberra Central has also fallen, from 4.2 persons per household in 1961 to 2.2 persons per household in 1996.

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