Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (19 February) . . Page.. 209 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
That is really the nub of the argument about neighbourhood planning and the dispute that is becoming a bit unseemly between a group in the Gungahlin community around the equality party and the Gungahlin Community Council on one side and the Gungahlin Development Authority on the other.
In this place in March of last year the minister said:
... this government is committed to implementing its election commitments on planning. It will do so to restore community confidence in the planning process; to invest in planning; to develop a strategic approach to planning for our city that provides certainty for residents, certainty for investors and a clear framework that everyone can work within ...
But do those benefits extend to Gungahlin? I don't think that they do. Those benefits, as Richard Nixon might have said, are inoperative insofar as Gungahlin residents are concerned.
This anomaly has been raised with the minister on a number of occasions. In this place in December last year, Mrs Cross asked a very sensible question about the Gungahlin Community Council's proposal and asked why the government was not coming to the party on it. The minister said in reply, amongst other things,
It is a matter that I am currently considering because I do take the views of the Gungahlin community very seriously on this, as on all other matters.
Again we hear the minister talking the talk, but the big test is whether he can walk the walk. He went on to say:
That said, it is important to reiterate that the design of the Gungahlin town centre has not simply emerged off a planner's drawing board without a very significant level of community activity ...
He went on:
Indeed, planning for the Gungahlin town centre has been under way since the mid-1990s ...
But the trouble is that, for the most part, the planning about the layout of the streets and where the major supermarkets and such would go was done in 1995-96. Although there has been ongoing consultation at the periphery about things currently being undertaken, such as the community's views on recreational issues, we have to take into account that in 1995-96 there were about 5,000 people in Gungahlin and there are now in excess of 20,000 people. It might be pertinent, if we are building a city from the ground up in a planned way, to take account of the change of views. This motion asks this government to take into account the change of views and see whether there can be an accommodation.