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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3332 ..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

Higher density development within this 400-metre commercial zone could be graduated to minimise the interface with the adjacent suburban areas, such as by using, say, two storeys on the frontages immediately opposite suburban houses. Residential policies within group centres and local centres should be reviewed to allow for higher densities where acceptable. As I have said before, in doing that, you would have to consider such things as topography, view, aspect and the whole integration of the centres.

At present, despite statements in the Labor Party platform, draft variation 200 appears to be silent on the question of higher density development along public transport corridors. With the exception of those made about the part of Northbourne Avenue affected by B11 and B12 policies, no comments have been made about higher density development along bus routes. Higher density development would be appropriate along major public transport corridors, including Canberra Avenue, Belconnen Way and Adelaide Avenue.

Then we have the exodus of dual occupancy. Dual occupancy has become a boo/hiss term, perhaps the work of the devil. The policy seems to be based on the need to avoid property speculation and criticism from local residents about poor design. However, we can have dual occupancy in many places and overcome the criticisms of poor design. A good case can be made for dual occupancy, and we should be using the principles of high-quality sustainable development to ensure that these developments meet the needs of the community, because there are very many reasons why we should have them.

We should also be looking at being less restrictive and at a policy that creates some certainty. For instance, we should be looking at permitting dual occupancies on appropriate corner blocks, and on wider blocks that allow subdivision from back to front.

Let me say that this matter is too important to be treated with the indecent haste that has characterised this government's approach to draft variation 200 and, unless we heed the warnings of what may come, we will repent at leisure.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.02): Mr Speaker, after listening to Mrs Dunne's comments, my first response is that, far from condemning the government, in fact, at least for the second part of her speech, Mrs Dunne actually sought to engage constructively with the issues. I welcome that and I welcome the fact that she has some thoughts on how draft variation 200 could indeed evolve. That is precisely why the government is proceeding to facilitate this sort of debate about this draft variation.

Yes, draft variation 200 seeks to set out the residential land use policies this government believes are appropriate to protect the garden city characteristics that Canberrans value, while encouraging focused and strategic redevelopment that meets the needs of sustainability, better public transport and housing choice for our citizens.

I think Mrs Dunne's comments, in some respects, are actually an argument against her own MPI, because the value of the process the government has embarked upon has been highlighted by the fact that she is at least now acknowledging the need for strategic and focused redevelopment activity, rather than the ad hoc, laissez faire approach adopted by her Liberal predecessors.

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