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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1084 ..

MRS BURKE (continuing):

ABS projections indicate that over the next 20 years couple families with children will remain at about current levels, while the number of couple families will increase from 26,000 in 1996 to 42,000 in 2021. The number of lone person households is projected to increase from 25,000 to 47,000.

Increasing dwellings in established areas results in a better use of infrastructure and reduces annual infrastructure requirements for future developments such as in Gungahlin, responds to changing housing demands and places housing near employment, which means shorter trips to work. Potential greenhouse benefits will naturally follow. This is an essential component of the development of a sustainable, livable Canberra.

The community needs to be engaged in the discussion of the future city they want. They need to be informed of the changes that are occurring and then be involved in decisions that shape the future of Canberra. The draft variation, therefore, is a mechanism for the involvement of the whole community, and will be out for public comment until 14 May 2001, before finalisation by PALM, and ultimately tabling in the Assembly.

A key aspect for achieving sustainable development is effective communication and participation by the diverse range of communities in the ACT. The more the planning system provides opportunities for people to actively engage in these processes, the more decision-making will represent a broader cross-section of our community. A planning system that is flexible, transparent, consultative, representative, visionary and based on principles of equity will respond to a diversity of needs and contribute towards sustainability.

We have the right policies. They need to be explained to the community in a way that enables the community to make informed decisions. They can then put their views forward for consideration by the government and the Assembly. We should all reject this motion.

MR HARGREAVES (8.16): It seems to me that Mr Corbell's opposition to what is going to happen tomorrow addresses the garden city nature of our fair capital. As he said, the proposal is that 35 per cent of blocks be available. What this will mean, though, is that up to 50 per cent of blocks can be built on. In a sense, this flies in the face of the Lansdown review, which is the basis for a lot of what the government is doing. The Lansdown review talks about 35 per cent being available, but what is being proposed is up to 50 per cent.

There is also no provision for a safety net for the historic suburbs of Griffith, Yarralumla, Turner, O'Connor, Forrest, Narrabundah and Red Hill. The proposal allows up to 50 per cent of buildings to appear on blocks. My worry is that this will have the effect over time of turning a lot of our historic and leafy suburbs into concrete jungles. It will treat our historic suburbs just like greenfields, as though there were no character there at all. It would change the face of those suburbs.

The proposal by the government also leaves developments to put in proper sustainable infrastructure only if they feel like it. That should not be allowed to happen. We should be able to tell developers what can happen with sustainable infrastructure.

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