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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1553 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

I also record the committee's appreciation to the committee secretary, Linda Atkinson, whose hard work, long hours and deep appreciation of the materials so ably assisted the committee. Also in respect of this variation report and the previous one, 175, I express my appreciation to the members of the committee. Both of these variations had the potential to be political footballs, but neither of them did. I would like the record to show that the committee actually considered those variations, the submissions and the presence of witnesses in a particularly multipartisan way. I pay my respects to the committee for that.

MS DUNDAS (10.49): I wish to speak briefly to the report on draft variation 200. I echo the sentiments of the Deputy Chair in expressing deep thanks to the secretary and to all the members of the committee for the work that went into preparing the committee's reports on both draft variation 200 and draft variation 175.

The Planning and Environment Committee has an advisory role in this Assembly and its members study draft variations to the Territory Plan to inform this Assembly as it considers the final variations on their merits. Draft variation 200 was a major variation to residential land use policies and impacted directly on every ACT resident. Hence, we considered it quite carefully, as Mr Hargreaves has said. We looked at it from a number of angles in an attempt to provide a balanced report. I am quite happy to say, as was Mr Hargreaves, that we were able to reach a consensus position on it and have a report that every member of the committee supports.

I wish to touch on and highlight some of the concerns with draft variation 200 as put forward to the committee. The areas of territorial significance that are listed in planning guidelines PPN 6 were not fully covered by the policies in draft variation 200. A particular area of concern was the brickworks in Yarralumla and how draft variation 200 would impact on the areas of territorial significance that I believe, if we are trying to maintain garden city values, need to be protected. The garden city is not just about the houses that we live in; it is also about the streetscapes and the amenities that we enjoy. We need to be looking at how we can enshrine their part in our planning processes into the future.

One other area of concern was the idea of having a residential core area and how it fitted around the local shopping centres. Already, 75 per cent of the local centres in the ACT, suburban shops, have higher development around them than the rest of the suburb. There were concerns that focusing on development around the shopping centres would devalue the ability to look at residential development along transport corridors and that it would put greater pressure on the housing market and perhaps force those on low incomes who need affordable housing further out into the suburbs.

It also appeared that the designation of areas was quite arbitrary. Concern was expressed by a number of members of the community that the decisions being made did not seem to reflect the area that they lived in and how the suburb wanted to develop into the future. The one size fits all approach was not one that the committee or the community were pleased to see in the draft variation. There was also concern that draft variation 200 fell outside the spatial planning process. The committee was quite supportive of the spatial planning process and believed that it should be informing a major draft variation such as this one as opposed to this draft variation pre-empting it.

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