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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1884 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

The motion in my name on the notice paper deals with how variation No 158 to the Territory Plan deals with group centres. Group centres, as we know them, are scattered across the ACT: there are group centres in Manuka, Dickson, Kingston, Jamison, Calwell, Curtin, Mawson and many others. This is a complex variation and has been a very long time in the pipeline.

It is with some trepidation that I attempt, at this stage, to excise some very small amounts from the draft variation. As I have said before, this is a very complex variation to the Territory Plan, and it is a step forward, but in many ways what has been achieved in the draft variation is still deficient. It is not flexible enough. There are problems with such things as access to adaptable housing that can be brought close to group centres. That area is particularly ad hoc, and there is not the flexibility that we desired to see when this process commenced under the previous government.

I have conducted considerable consultation, because group centres affect such a large number of people, and there was a general feeling of regret that the whole thing was not more flexible. But there was also a general desire in the community that the draft variation, for the most part, be made.

What my motion proposes is to excise two small pieces of land from the variation, which means that they will revert to their existing status under the Territory Plan. What I propose to do relates to Calwell in the south and Kippax in West Belconnen. The bit I propose we excise from the draft variation relating to Calwell is part of section 72. Before the draft variation was made, section 72 was commercial precinct "b"; the draft variation converts it to commercial precinct "c".

I am doing this-I freely admit-on behalf of a particular landowner who asked me to help him out of a bind. There was a bit of a misunderstanding, and in the course of drafting the variation, the land was proposed to be changed from precinct "b" to precinct "c". Precinct "b" allows for the building of adaptable and accessible housing on the ground floor, but precinct "c" does not. Precinct "c" says you can have adaptable and accessible housing but can only build it on the first floor above, which means that, for the most part, adaptable and accessible housing can never be built in precinct "c". Most people do not build above two storeys at group centres; there are planning provisions against this. If you build at two storeys you are not going to put a lift in, so any housing that you build on the second floor would not by definition be accessible.

There has been consultation between the landowner at Calwell and Planning and Land Management about the impact this draft variation will have on plans the landowner has to build accessible housing on the land he owns. Planning and Land Management have advised the landowner-and me-that they are supportive of the landowner being able to build adaptable and accessible housing on the precinct "b" but that their preferred means of doing this would be to immediately institute a new variation to the Territory Plan.

Given that there is general support for accessible and adaptable housing to be built on this section, what I propose to members of the Assembly today is: let's cut through the red tape; let's save time, money and effort and excise this small piece of land from the change to precinct "c"; let it revert to precinct "b" and therefore allow the developer, the owner of the land, to do what he has proposed, which has the support of the planning department.

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