Page 1751 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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We have an integrated plan in place here. Yes, okay, this government does do planning. I think that is a good thing. And it is a particularly good thing in as much as we are doing things as well in City West, on the other side of London Circuit from here. So the town is actually growing now. The city centre is being developed now. It is quite clearly the intention of this government to continue that and to receive all ideas, but not to grasp them just because they look good first up and have been spread, as Dr Foskey says, all over the Canberra Times in living colour.

Mrs Dunne, as usual, added her own particular brand of charm to this debate and somehow says, “Boldness in design is akin to courage.” I do not quite get that link, but I do see in Colin Stewart’s concepts some boldness of thought. But others have actually thought of, if not eliminating Vernon Circle, eliminating it as a through road for traffic. What about the tunnel? Where is the tunnel? What about that concept? Or is that out the window? Well, that was bold.

So let us not fall into the pop vein and grab hold of a pretty concept, without thinking it through and without the benefit of examination by planners. Look at the planning concepts and look at the prospect of having one form of division of the city replaced by another. We have complaints that Northbourne Avenue splits our city, and yet we are talking possibly about a road equally wide becoming London Circuit and splitting the city in another fashion.

There may be answers to it. We will consult on and work through all the concepts available. I hope that somehow, because of the bold thinking of the Colin Stewart plan, some other bold-thinking people might throw in ideas and we will get the benefit of all the input that we need and we will be able to canvass all of the issues and not replace one problem with another.

I saw a letter to the editor the other day that virtually said, “Why don’t you start at Garema Place? Canberra city actually does work. If you wanted to build from the centre out, why don’t you build from the current centre of activity and build the city?” Maybe that is a good idea as well.

I think the Corbell approach is an absolutely correct approach. It is to examine all of the concepts and make sure that we do it right—for the very reasons that Mrs Dunne, as I said, in her own unique style, put forward in this place, about the results of this process having such long-lasting effects. At this stage, there is action taken; there is progress in the development of Civic now; there is the possibility of a quantum leap forward. And that will be a very major step and has to be done, like it or not, most carefully for the benefit of the city of today and for the city of tomorrow.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (11.37): I think I need to start by addressing Mr Corbell’s memory of history. Mr Corbell emerges from this debate as some sort of planning minister Pol Pot: apparently, good planning for the city started in 2001. Mr Corbell is very good at making all sorts of assertions: “There is no integration of public art”; “We finally had some Christmas celebrations and activity in the city”; “We finally got the first integrated plan”; and “I said I would get rid of cloverleaves before Mr Snow said he would get rid of the cloverleaves.” But all of these assertions do

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