Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 954 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
I need to address the issue of the closure of the Kippax health and fitness centre. It is regrettable in the extreme that the existing lessee has chosen to close that facility. However, as a private lessee, they can do that. The government has indicated on a number of occasions that we will take compliance action against the lessee unless they reopen the centre or progress some other use which is consistent with the Territory Plan.
Because of those actions by government and by Planning and Land Management, the lessee has indicated that they wish to proceed with redevelopment of the site to build a series of residential and retail uses consistent with the Territory Plan. It will not require any change to the Territory Plan. They are seeking to vary their lease and redevelop the site consistent with the Territory Plan.
The government has indicated to the lessee that if they wish to do that they will need to undertake a preliminary assessment, because they are proposing to remove a number of community facilities, in particular the swimming pool. They will need to demonstrate through the preliminary assessment that their proposal is not going to detrimentally impact the West Belconnen community. I remain sceptical on that point, but the whole point of the preliminary assessment process is to test whether or not it is justified to allow these facilities to be removed. That process also involves public consultation. People have a right to comment on the PA before it is assessed by the minister's delegate. That is an appropriate process that is both open and transparent.
Mr Speaker, the government has in train a range of approaches for getting on with the centre. It is putting out a detailed proposal for community discussion. Plans are already under way to allow people to have their say on the fitness centre, which is on privately leased land.
That is the approach the government has adopted. The establishment of a master planning process in this instance will not meet the commercial needs of the West Belconnen community. The need is to get on and deliver better services, better infrastructure, better facilities. That is what the government is about. That is the approach we will adopt. That is why we are not supporting the motion.
MRS DUNNE (4.23): Mr Speaker, I rise in support of Ms Dundas's motion and congratulate her on it. I have had motions in relation to Kippax on the notice paper for a while now, but I was glad to see Ms Dundas's motion, because it is better than mine and I am happy to support it.
It is good to see that most Ginninderra members are here today to debate this motion. Belconnen has always been at the end of the queue when money has been handed out for capital works and other projects by successive governments in the ACT. Tuggeranong has its arts centre. That was brought about mostly by the local member's commitment to the arts. We have never had that sort of commitment in Belconnen, despite the great work of arts officers in Belconnen, people like Marion Mussared.
Many things need to be done in Belconnen. The health centre needs upgrading. Overall, Belconnen is the ugly duckling of town centres in the ACT. The lake is underutilised, and it will continue to be underutilised, by the people of Belconnen because there are no