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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3335 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

The correct place for debate on the draft variation at this point in time is, however, in the planning and environment committee, which has the statutory function of reviewing draft variations. Mrs Dunne is chair of this committee, so she would be better served by giving this variation priority in her committee and actually facilitating the further discussion and consultation that she desires. Obviously, as a draft variation, it has interim effect, but the Territory Plan has a greater impact depending on which is the more onerous. We do, indeed, have that check in place.

I look forward to the government's response to the comments that come in on DVP 200, and the planning committee's consideration of this variation, and I look forward to having a further debate on this issue at that time.

MS DUNDAS (4.12): From my account, this is the third time that draft variation 200 has been discussed in this chamber already. We have discussed a closely related matter of public importance moved by Ms Gallagher on the heritage implications of DVP 200. We have also debated the motion moved by Mrs Dunne calling on the government to drop the garden city plan.

These two debates gave everyone in this Assembly an opportunity to put on the public record their views on DVP 200. I wonder if it is therefore a good use of our time to restate our objections or support. However, I will speak briefly against this matter of public importance moved by Mrs Dunne.

I believe that we must grasp the nettle and develop a vision for our city, because Canberra continues to change in the absence of any agreed vision. Urban in-fill, high and medium-density unit developments, and dual occupancies continue to be approved and built. Yet we do not have a clear idea what our city will look like if development continues down its current path.

If the government does not produce draft amendments, I cannot see how the Territory Plan could ever be changed. It would be extraordinary if any first draft of a variation to the plan was judged perfect by the community. If Mrs Dunne believes the garden city plan should be amended, then she is one of the best-placed people in Canberra to actually influence its content.

The Democrats have always supported urban consolidation provided that this development respects our urban open space and heritage, and is socially sustainable. I think it is possible for us to come up with a vision that protects the character of our suburbs, yet accommodates more people in close proximity to services and shops. I think we can also successfully integrate affordable and accessible housing in medium-density areas close to shops, provided the government has the political will to direct revenue from betterment taxes and land tax to achieve this vision.

This garden city plan, draft variation 200, is still in its draft form, and the government has indicated that it is willing to consider revising it to accommodate some of the concerns raised in initial submissions from the community. As has already been discussed today, the variation will then be considered by the planning and environment committee. I am sure we will consider carefully all public submissions that we receive. It is by no means too late to fix the problems with this plan.

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