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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 289 ..

MS DUNDAS (11.22): The people of Narrabundah have not done well out of the first year of this Labor government. Last year both the Narrabundah youth drop-in centre and the aged day care centre were shut down. The government also changed the Territory Plan to turn community facility land and a local community club into medium density residential development, which is what they propose with this variation to the Territory Plan. It appears that the government is not taking seriously the needs of the Narrabundah community.

Before the last election Mr Corbell promised the residents of Narrabundah that he would exhaust every avenue to ensure that the site of the Hungarian Australian Club was not arbitrarily sold off for high-density housing development. The Labor Party promised to assist in finding an alternative club to utilise the site or find an alternative community use for the land in question in cooperation with the wishes of residents. The minister also promised a community-inspired suburb master plan for Narrabundah. These promises have not been fulfilled.

The government has mishandled the entire issue. We see a community up in arms about the loss of their community space. We see claims and counterclaims of a bungled planning process, and accusations of an improper relationship between government and developers. I have even been told of defamation suits being launched against community leaders. This variation to the Territory Plan has been a stuff-up by this government and flies in the face of their claim to provide Canberrans with a fair and open planning system.

Supporting and developing our community organisations is an important role of the territory government. It includes ensuring that our planning processes provide adequate community space to serve the community's needs now and into the future. Narrabundah has very low levels of community space. Community facility land makes up only 3.7 per cent of Narrabundah, compared to 8.7 and 7.7 per cent for the nearby suburbs of Griffith and Red Hill.

We have seen the government's lack of attention to the needs of community organisations in Canberra. They have continued to allow community facilities to become run down and neglected. This appears to be the next step in their plan-to rezone the land for medium density housing.

The Standing Committee on Planning and Environment was told that there is a mere 3.3 hectares of vacant community land left in central Canberra. The committee recommended that the government proceed no further with variation 174, but this recommendation by the committee has been ignored by the government.

The reasons we have been given for the changes to the Territory Plan in relation to Narrabundah are quite spurious. The government cites noise complaints, but I have been told that a quick check with the Department of Urban Services noise complaints unit reveals only three noise complaints in the last year-roughly on the level of a barking dog or a noisy party.

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