Page 556 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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Report 2

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (11.14): I present the following report:

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee—Report 2—Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No 248—Aged Care Facility Hughes, dated January 2005, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

Mr Speaker, on 16 December 2004, the Minister for Planning, Mr Simon Corbell MLA, referred draft variation to the territory plan 248 to the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment for consideration. The committee considered DV248 on 11 January 2005 and 18 January 2005. The committee decided to proceed directly to report and not call for submissions or hold public hearings, due to the government’s commitment to aged care places in the ACT.

Draft variation to the territory plan 248, relating to an aged care facility in Hughes, is also a welcome addition to the land for aged care facilities. A significant number of residents attended the public consultation process. The main objection concerned the protection of approximately 90 trees in the area around the development. Most of the high-value trees are located around the edge of the site.

In addition, the Conservator of Flora and Fauna considered the application, suggesting that it presents no problem provided that protection of any significant trees on the site is taken into consideration in the redevelopment. As these trees come under the protection of ACT legislation, this is a requirement of the design process. Assessments of further environmental impact were made during the planning process and taken into account in the final variation presented.

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

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (11.16): Mr Speaker, the opposition welcomes the variation to the plan to allow for the provision of more aged care places and the construction of extra facilities. It is something that we have been vocal about during both the previous and the current assemblies.

I would just like to make a point. Heading to the 2001 election, Mr Corbell was critical of the Liberal Party’s plan to consolidate some urban space, particularly for facilities such as these, but it seems that Mr Corbell has changed his mind on this one and we certainly welcome that. Our policy was about achieving a balance for urban open space and Mr Corbell condemned that. But he is happy now to take it away, despite being so vocal about it previously. He did take a shamelessly populist position before the election, but once he took office he changed his tune.

I note that the committee points out that this variation is the second such variation dealt with in the Sixth Assembly. It would seem a bit rich for the government to think now

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