Page 554 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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major issues of concern in the proposal, the committee decided to proceed directly to a report and not call for submissions or hold public hearings.

The Standing Committee on Planning and Environment inquired into and reported on long-term planning for the provision of land for aged care facilities in the ACT. With the federal government’s lack of ratio funding in relation to aged care facilities, the committee can approve land for development for aged care beds, but I understand that there is still a lot of time wasted before federal funding becomes available.

With this government’s commitment to aged care facilities in the ACT, the committee is of the view that DV243 will enhance the prospects for ageing with dignity of many residents in Tuggeranong. As noted by the government, there is a pressing need for more quality aged care accommodation in Canberra, in Tuggeranong in particular. As one submission noted, the new facility will enable older Tuggeranong residents to remain in their local neighbourhood near friends and possibly family.

DV243 is a strong start to the Stanhope Labor government’s commitment on aged care facilities. As part of the territory plan and the sustainability of the Tuggeranong community, this committee is committed to working towards recommendations of land use changes in order for there to be a better range of aged care facilities.

I take this opportunity to thank those involved in the consultation process.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (11.08): The opposition supports DV243. We believe that it is important that land be made available for aged care facilities, so we welcome the change in land use policy in this area.

I would like to make a couple of points. By replacing the urban open space land use policy and the entertainment accommodation and leisure land use policy with the community facility land use policy, this draft variation recognises the need to balance the community’s desire for urban open space with a real and very pressing need for more aged care facilities in this territory. Given that, the opposition certainly welcomes more land being made available.

I make the point that the government has been the cause of significant delay in making land available for aged care facilities. For instance, I understand that Goodwin Aged Care Services has been seeking land for several years. It is disappointing that it has taken so long. We certainly welcome the moves of the government now to start to address the real needs of the community for more aged care facilities. It has been too slow. Unfortunately, it still is too slow, but we are very supportive of achieving the right balance in land use policy and making more land available for aged care facilities. Given that, we support DV243.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (11.10): The opposition’s support for this DVP has been outlined by Mr Seselja. As a member for Brindabella, it is fantastic to see that some land is now available in Tuggeranong for the building of aged care facilities. I want to comment on the time taken.

Goodwin Homes, I understand, applied for this land in early 2002 and we are now in 2005. Almost three years, at least 2½ years ago, they asked for it and it will be almost

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