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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3688 ..

Mr Hird: Mr Deputy Speaker, I raise a point of order. I have a long relationship with the procedures in this place and I may have erred. If that is the case I apologise to the member. I withdraw any inference in respect to her understanding of the planning issues in this great territory.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, thank you. I am not sure that that is a point of order.

Mr Hird: I know, but I wanted to say it.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: We thank you for that, Mr Hird.

MS TUCKER: Well, that is one statement made in excitement that has been withdrawn, and I appreciate that, Mr Hird.

Mr Hird: Thank you.

MS TUCKER: I am waiting for the Speaker to come down and withdraw one of his excited statements now.

On the question of medium-density development, most of it has occurred without it coming here. The Greens have not opposed it. I have given a lot of detail in this place on several occasions. I have explained the Greens' planning policy. I have explained where we think it is appropriate to have increased density and why. I have explained very clearly that the environmental imperatives related to increasing density have to be balanced with neighbourhood amenity. We see that increased density is focused around the major centres and that, if you like, you see it as a landscape, with the level and density decreasing as you move away from those centres, facilities and public transport options.

In this motion what I am dealing with is the fact that there is basically a loophole or an anomaly in how we determine density in particular areas. I did say in my speech, and Mr Rugendyke might like to listen to this-

Mr Rugendyke: I am listening.

MS TUCKER: Mr Rugendyke is listening. At the moment the plot ratio is 2:1 in these shopping centres and the maximum height of the building is two storeys. This could basically allow a two-storey building over every part of the block. If you compare that to the plot ratios in the other areas, some of which Mr Rugendyke said he was worried about, it is really interesting. The proposed plot ratio for residential zoning is 0.35:1, which is obviously much less than 2:1 which is allowed. In B12 areas, where two-storey development is encouraged, the allowable plot ratio is only 0.65:1, and in the B11 areas, where three-storey development is allowed, the plot ratio is 0.8:1, which is still far below the plot ratio of commercial areas.

Mr Stefaniak talked at length about the demise of local shopping centres. I am not disputing that local shopping centres are losing their vibrance, and we were interested in the government's idea of revitalising local shopping centres. But, as Mr Rugendyke knows well, and as he said, there have been real problems about how that has happened.

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