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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 817 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

unaware of. The premise of the question is wrong. The government has no apologies to make on this matter.

Neighbourhood planning program

MS GALLAGHER: My question is to the Minister for Planning and it relates to the government's neighbourhood planning program. How is the neighbourhood planning program being introduced in the Canberra community?

MR CORBELL: The neighbourhood planning program is a very important initiative for the government. It is one, I must say, that has been warmly welcomed by many parts of the Canberra community. That is in stark contrast to the comments that occasionally come across the chamber from those opposite about the adequacy or otherwise of the neighbourhood planning program.

It is interesting that those comments have come across because, unlike the previous government, this government is seeking to collaborate and work with the community on planning issues, rather than simply saying, "This is the outcome you are going to get. We are going to ask you about it, but this is what is going to happen." That is the marked contrast between this government and the previous government.

Mr Humphries: Famous last words, Simon.

MR CORBELL: You just do not understand collaboration, Gary. That is the problem. You just do not have it in your heart to work in a collaborative manner. That is why the former minister for planning is sitting over there next to you, in the deputy's chair, and maybe not for long. That is why we are seeking to implement the neighbourhood planning program.

On 13 December last year, I announced the government's intention to honour its election commitment. The government approved an initial program for neighbourhood planning, which covered six suburbs: Braddon, Deakin, Turner, O'Connor, Lyneham and Dickson. The neighbourhood planning process commenced with a meeting of a very broad range of community representatives on Wednesday, 27 February.

What was important about that meeting was that it was the government going to the community and saying, "Tell us your expectations. Tell us your concerns. Tell us what you want to see achieved." It was not a case of saying, "Tell us what you think and this is the outcome you are going to get," which is the approach adopted by those opposite. It was saying, "We are genuinely committed to a collaborative process. Let us work together and find out how it can work, and what you want to achieve from it."

The people who participated in that program were not simply the people who usually get involved in the planning debate. They were not simply residents organisations, development proponents and industry groups. Those people are important, but it also involved a broader range of people in the community. Everyone, from the Youth Coalition of the ACT through to the Masonic Homes organisation in the city, was involved. It was a very broad range of people. At that meeting, over 200 residents, citizens, community organisations and industry organisations warmly welcomed the approach that the government was adopting.

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