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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2235 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

some respects-not on every occasion by any means, but on some occasions-a speculative activity, a way of capitalising on the value of the land, and any investor will take that approach if they think they can get a return on it. But does it deliver a good planning outcome for our city? The Labor Party's view is that it does not. The Labor Party's view is that, on balance, dual occupancy development needs a serious looking at, and the way to start looking at dual occupancy development and the way to start having informed and reasonable debate about it is to allow the local area planning advisory committees, the government's own consultative mechanism, to start commenting on dual occupancy development.

I should stress to members that this proposal is not one which by its very nature will result in further delay in the planning approval process. Indeed, it is difficult to see how it would. The government already encourages much larger developments worth much more money to go to LAPACs for their comment, so why can't we do it with dual occupancy development which is a cause of concern in our local communities? It will not be part of the statutory approval process. Proponents will be able to choose not to take their proposal to a LAPAC if they do not want to, and they will still be allowed to have their development approval considered through the normal mechanisms. But what it will do is engender better community debate about the impact and the style and the quality of dual occupancy development in our city.

I note that the minister announced recently a range of initiatives in relation to encouraging high-quality sustainable design. Those measures are welcome, but they are not, on their own, the solution. We need to be looking at a range of measures to encourage debate, and one way to do that is to make sure the government's own consultative mechanisms are involved in all aspects of redevelopment activity in our city. I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MS TUCKER (8.48): I am happy to support this motion on dual occupancies. There is no doubt that there are increasing numbers of dual occupancies appearing in Canberra's inner suburbs which are causing anxiety and uncertainty to existing residents.

I should remind Mr Corbell though that the floodgates for dual occupancies opened under the former Labor government. Before 1993 the only form of dual occupancy allowed in Canberra was the so-called granny flat, or flats attached to houses that were owned by the same householder. The reason for this was that it was not legally possible to subdivide a single residential block and sell off each part separately.

In 1993 the then Labor government, as part of its 50/50 urban renewal policy, amended the Unit Titles Act to reduce the number of units permitted to have unit titles from four down to two. This enabled dual occupancies to be owned under a unit title and thus allowed the separate sale of the two dwellings. This opened up the financial attractiveness of dual occupancies considerably, and the possibility of speculative development.

This led to a rush of dual occupancies even in the subdivisions, such as in Tuggeranong. The resulting public outcry about this and other controversial urban consolidation programs such as the B1 zone in North Canberra led to the Lansdown review of residential redevelopment. Mr Lansdown recommended that dual occupancies be excluded in new subdivisions for five years, that unit titling not be allowed, that there be

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