Page 1709 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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Planning—City Hill

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Minister, has your City Hill plan been endorsed by your cabinet or is it merely a Corbell legacy?

MR CORBELL: The decision to release the City Hill plan was taken in consultation with my cabinet colleagues—in particular, with the Chief Minister—and release of the City Hill plan followed the specific agreement of the Chief Minister. The City Hill plan itself did not need endorsement by cabinet for its release as a draft concept for consultation and discussion. That is the status of the document.

I think that it is surprising that the Liberal Party have criticised this process because the Liberal Party talked about revitalising Canberra, revitalising the city, but they never actually did any planning work on what was going to happen in the city centre; they did none whatsoever. They did nothing about revitalising the car parks, they did nothing about revitalising the other important elements that, at the moment, divide our city in half, and they did not look at issues around Northbourne Avenue. In contrast, the ACT Planning and Land Authority has put a concept on the table that has stimulated further discussion and debate, including the contribution we have had recently from Mr Terry Snow and his proposal. The government will be embracing all of these concepts as we move forward on the best outcome for City Hill and for the city as a whole.

The point I want to make to members, Mr Speaker, is that Civic and the central business area are not just about City Hill. In fact, most of the retail/commercial activity, as we know, currently takes place outside the City Hill precinct. Very little of it is contained within the London Circuit and Vernon Circle area. Whatever we do in relation to London Circuit/Vernon Circle must take account of the ramifications it would have for the rest of the city area, because there is very significant development already in place around the rest of the city.

It would be foolish of the government, foolish of any government, not to make an assessment as to the increase in gross floor area, development potential and so forth in the City Hill area without taking account of what that would mean for development in the remainder of the city. Those are the sorts of issues of which the government is very conscious. We will be working closely with all players on the way forward for that.

Minister for Planning

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Planning. Can the minister please confirm that he will soon embark on a round-the-world tour? What is the purpose of the tour? Over what time period will he be touring? What countries does he plan to visit? What areas and towns or cities will he visit? Who will accompany him? What will the tour cost? And what are the expected benefits of the minister’s tour, both to him personally and to the people of Canberra?

MR CORBELL: Like members of both the government and the opposition, I am planning to take a tour to the United Kingdom and to the United States. In the United States I will be attending a national conference of the Urban Land Institute, which is the

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