Page 1694 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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clause, which requires that the indoor pool be refurbished to the satisfaction of the territory government before the variation of the unit plan can occur.

Draft variation 205 seeks to enable the lessee of the pool to recover substantial funds that will be expended on the refurbishment of the pool. This is a valuable community asset. The pool has an average daily attendance of 400 people. This importantly includes large numbers of children attending learn to swim classes. Further, the location of the pool near two hospitals and three retirement villages means that it is an important health facility for the Deakin community and surrounding areas. This factor was extensively considered by the committee and deemed to be of significant consideration in relation to draft variation 205.

The approval of amendment 44 to the National Capital Plan by the minister on 7 March 2005, and its subsequent tabling in the federal parliament, allows major office employment to be located within defined areas of the ACT. The Deakin site falls outside these defined centres but advice from the National Capital Authority to the committee suggests that the variation to the territory plan could include the Deakin site within such a centre. There was some confusion as to the precise nature of the advice from the NCA because of the reference errors in the amendment.

Clarification of the position suggests that the intent of the NCA’s position is a requirement for amendment by both the NCA and the ACT Planning and Land Authority to extend office sites. Further, the two agencies should discourage further office employment in West Deakin outside the defined office employment centre, and the extension of the area should only be considered if it is in the public interest. This requires extensive consideration of the full transport and environmental effects of such decisions.

The environmental and transport impact of the proposed variation was raised in the public hearings held by the committee in consideration of the draft variation and in line with the advice of the NCA. In particular, rezoning to allow higher order uses caused concern to some residents of the area, and the increase in traffic through rezoning and development caused concern in relation to community use of the surrounding public spaces.

The committee discussed the traffic issues with ACTPLA officials who advised that the Deakin traffic plan was under development, including West Deakin. The issues relating to transport and to environmental impact, those raised as necessary by the NCA, are not included in the draft variation, which was prepared prior to amendment 44. After committee consideration, we feel that the transport and environmental consideration given to the variation is insufficient in the light of the NCA amendment and, to avoid inconsistency with this, it should be reflected as a revised variation. The jurisdictional relationship between the National Capital Authority and the ACT Planning and Land Authority means that any ACT government enactment is invalid to the extent that it is inconsistent with the national capital plan. As such, the advice of the NCA means that ACTPLA should have traffic and environmental issues fully assessed or discourage office development on the proposed site.

This position is reflected in the recommendations of the committee in this report. Recommendation 1 of the committee recommends that the development of a master plan for the West Deakin area should identify an enlarged designated office employment area

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