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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4310 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I will also mention that these sorts of inappropriate developments negate the opportunities for building an employment base in the new town centre of Gungahlin. Gungahlin has so far suffered as it has missed out on the employment opportunities that were available to other town centres in the early stages of their development. Gungahlin should be a priority area for new employment growth in Canberra, close to emerging transport routes and a growing population base, not just slapped onto the edge of an airport and away from other services.

It is pleasing to see that the NCA is beginning to realise the error of allowing too much commercial development in the Brindabella Business Park and is looking at placing a moratorium on the provision of further commercial space. I am glad to see that it will be participating in the development of a Canberra spatial plan and beginning to establish a working partnership with the ACT government in constructing better means of promoting suitable and sustainable employment in Canberra and, hopefully, better planning outcomes for the people of the ACT.

MS TUCKER (8.25): This issue is one that the Greens have been raising for several years, particularly with the previous government when the process was beginning. The concerns that I raised at the time were not treated seriously by the previous government, which took the view that it was a reasonable planning option. I am pleased to see it brought up again by Mr Hargreaves. I think it is obvious that it is not consistent with orderly planning in Canberra, particularly in terms of the capacity of Gungahlin and other centres in the Y-plan, Belconnen and Tuggeranong, to provide employment opportunities.

This city has the potential to create employment situations in the town centres and have greater density of housing in those areas close to the employment and have public transport linking them. That model obviously has the acceptance of the Labor government in its support for sustainable development in Canberra and it is really of concern to have further employment accommodation being built at the airport.

I believe that developing the airport as a thriving industry sector is in direct conflict with the aim of achieving sustainable growth in our centres. I believe that it is contrary to the major principles underlying the Territory Plan. As has been stated many times, the location of a general industry sector at the airport is inappropriate due to the lack of access to public transport and the remoteness of the area from residential areas and shopping precincts. The noise and pollution of an airport are also factors that should be taken into account.

I think it is okay to have at the airport businesses whose operations are directly linked to the function of the airport, such as souvenir shops, car rental agencies and aviation support services generally, but, beyond that, the airport should not be seen as a general industry node. If the NCA is conducting a review of employment opportunities at the airport, we should be encouraging it to limit the amount of development to what is there. It is obvious that continuing down the present path of commercial development at the airport would have the effect of reducing employment opportunities in areas where they are sorely needed, such as Gungahlin. The continued expansion of another employment node away from population centres and in conflict with the Territory Plan is disadvantageous to all Canberrans.

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