Page 1526 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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Mr Smyth: It is patently untrue, and he should withdraw it.

MR SPEAKER: I could not hear him clearly.

Mr Smyth: I could repeat it for you if you like. I can tell you exactly what he said.

MR SPEAKER: I would prefer to hear it for myself.

MR CORBELL: I know Mr Smyth is sensitive on this issue because he was planning minister for some time but did not actually achieve very much. Nevertheless, them’s the breaks.

The government has proceeded with a final variation for City West. It is currently before the Planning and Environment Committee for consideration. This variation will ease restrictions on the height, gross floor area and colour of new Civic buildings. It will also remove the mandatory preliminary assessment required for most new developments in the city.

It is one of the absurdities of the land act and the territory plan that large commercial office buildings can only be built in the city. You must then do an assessment on the impact of building large commercial office buildings in the city. The government has moved to remove this contradiction. The new draft variation, if subsequently approved by this place, will remove the requirement for preliminary assessment for most new developments in this part of the city.

The variation’s public consultation process has been completed and will pave the way for the implementation of the government’s City West master plan, which was released in May of last year. So I am very pleased to report to members that the government is not just doing the planning work; it is implementing it on the ground and giving to the development industry the certainty that is needed to create the future of a vibrant city centre, which is what most of us are aiming for.

Variation No 236 (City West commercial A Civic Centre land use policies) is consistent with the changes to the National Capital Plan.

Mr Smyth: It is typical of this minister—

MR CORBELL: I know you don’t like it, Mr Smyth, but what did you do in your time as minister for planning? Absolutely nothing is the answer.

Not only have we achieved a positive outcome through the territory’s planning processes, we also have agreement from the National Capital Authority on the way forward. Draft Variation No 236 is consistent with changes to the national capital plan in draft amendment No 49 to the national capital plan. The NCA and ACTPLA are working together to further streamline planning processes in the Civic area.

The City West master plan, as members would be aware, focuses on the section of Civic West between the ANU and London Circuit, which the government wants to establish as Canberra’s premier commercial and residential address. The work we are doing in City

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