Page 566 - Week 02 - Thursday, 17 February 2005

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However, there were other perspectives put. Not everyone goes to such meetings and not everyone goes to neighbourhood planning consultations; open though they are to people. There are constraints on public participation. Quite a lot of the members of the community feel disempowered by their inability to read these incredible documents, which are dense enough even for those of us with university degrees. People who are looking after children and getting meals together actually do not think they have a say, yet they do. They should have. We hope that the review in mid-2005 will give those kinds of people a say.

In fact, DV246 could represent a major loss of opportunity in the quest to make Canberra a more sustainable city. It is about an area that could take a denser population because it is adjacent to the Dickson shops as well as the Downer shops. The argument has been put that the treescape would have been affected if the A10 policy had gone forward. I would hope that our planning guidelines would ensure that streetscapes, where they are valued and especially where they retain mature existing trees, would be maintained. So I do not think that was an argument for taking the area out of A10.

Also, the kinds of houses that we have in Downer—I have lived in Downer and I have lived in one of these houses—were built to house workers and we all know that workers do not get the very best of facilities. They are energy inefficient. They are badly sited in terms of solar access. The opportunity to have some energy efficient housing there has been lost for the time being.

Anyway, my point is that the process set in place by this Assembly two years ago for DV200, which is now, of course, variation 200, to be examined in the middle of this year would have been the right time to have considered this variation.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.51): I rise in support of Mr Gentleman’s tabling of report 4. In particular, I would draw the Assembly’s attention to the importance of the protection of the trees located in Blackett, Berry, Legge and Padbury streets, and note that the Tree Protection (Interim Scheme) Act 2001 ensures the protection of such valuable assets to the environment and to the streetscape. The committee took particular pains to note, as Mr Gentleman said, the importance of these trees, although I would not have been able to pronounce them in the brilliant way that Mr Gentleman was able to do.

We also considered and agreed that the existing bed and breakfast precinct along Northbourne Avenue should be preserved and noted the valuable contribution these businesses make to tourism, particularly with regard to Summernats and other national events held in the immediate area, of which I am sure members are aware there are many. We agreed to maintain the gateway aspect of Northbourne Avenue in this area.

We agreed that the B12 rezoning of blocks along Antill Street is in harmony with the existing denser development in that area and is in agreement also with the spatial plan, notwithstanding that the A10 zoning is totally appropriate for an area such as this because of its proximity to shops and public transport. I am disappointed that Mr Seselja is making a political point at the expense of what the community wanted, as we have already outlined.

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