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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1660 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

The report is also significant, Mr Deputy Speaker, in that it is telling the government to go back and think again about the whole way it has managed the Territory Plan variation process for group centres. The government set out on what the committee believes was the appropriate path, and that is simply to instigate a variation to the Territory Plan for all group centres in Canberra. That was a consistent approach. But then the government chose to depart from that logical approach and instead released a separate variation just for Kippax. So, as Mr Hird points out, the committee was presented with a situation where we had a draft variation on a draft variation. This does not engender a very clear and easy to understand process for members of the public, let alone members of the Planning and Urban Services Committee.

Mr Deputy Speaker, the government's decision to proceed with a separate draft variation for Kippax whilst at the same time seeking to vary the Territory Plan for all other group centres was confusing, to say the least. It is of concern to me, and I know also to Mr Rugendyke, but I am sure he will speak for himself if he chooses to, that the government appeared to ignore advice that highlighted the difficulties with this approach. It is my view, Mr Deputy Speaker, that the decision to vary the Territory Plan separately solely for Kippax was politically motivated, and it was done simply to favour an individual proponent. In doing so, that decision created confusion and created a contradictory position from the government when it came to land use planning at the Kippax Centre. It was a matter that the committee considered serious enough to call for all papers from PALM in relation to the decision to establish a separate draft variation for Kippax.

I would like to draw to the Assembly's attention a document which the committee has authorised for publication in relation to the issue to release a draft variation for Kippax. That document, Mr Deputy Speaker, is a brief to the Minister for Urban Services from the chief executive of his department and the executive director of Planning and Land Management outlining the department's view and PALM's view in relation to the prospect of a separate draft variation for Kippax. This brief is extensive. It is signed off by the minister and it raises the following points:

The process of varying the Territory Plan variation for the site specific proposal at Kippax (that may involve sale of government land) is likely to be controversial. It could convey a message that the new Retail Policy Direction is favouring certain locations.

This was advice to the minister, Mr Deputy Speaker. The other advice to the minister also made the point that varying the policy for all group centres would enable competition between centres and would not favour any specific single block. It also highlights the point that the development of a new major supermarket at Kippax is likely to have significant impacts on existing supermarkets and centres in the West Belconnen area. Whilst it would strengthen the attractiveness of Kippax as a group centre, it would also draw significant trade away from the existing supermarket in Kippax and those in other nearby centres.

The brief also makes the point, Mr Deputy Speaker, that, if a new major supermarket is to be considered for the West Belconnen area, there are factors which would suggest that the preferable location for such a supermarket is at Charnwood, not at Kippax.

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