Page 1755 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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to create a system of governance for the planning and development of the central area that is clear and accountable and will foster excellence in design, creativity, economic prosperity and cultural vitality.

Projects of this nature do not materialise overnight. They require careful consideration of a multiplicity of issues and engagement with the community. To this end, the Canberra central is a long-term commitment designed to bring sustained social, cultural and economic activity to the city. A key task of Canberra central is that of ensuring that pertinent knowledge and skills in government, the private sector and the community are brought together to analyse the issues and identify key strategies and actions that will establish the city as the dynamic heart of Canberra.

The City Hill concept for the future, launched by the Minister for Planning, is a significant component of the Canberra central program, sitting within the planning framework for the whole of the central area, which seeks to establish the city as the meeting place of Canberra—a dynamic cultural heart with enhanced character and integration of isolated precincts. The concept builds on the work of the National Capital Authority’s Griffin legacy project in promoting City Hill as the city focus and provides a conceptual framework for the future development of Constitution Avenue and West Basin as the city connection to the lake. The concept was launched in order to generate community comment and input into the development of a way forward for the enhancement of the City Hill precinct. The concept has already begun to generate debate and constructive ideas for the future of City Hill, and the government is keen to ensure the involvement of the community in future decision making.

The government is committed to ensure that the views and ideas of the entire community are drawn out and that due consideration is given to the various positions presented. The government is also putting money in resources where its mouth is. This government has established a strategic framework to guide our city forward through the Canberra plan, the spatial plan, the economic white paper and the social plan. This government has given commitment and resources to the establishment of the Canberra central program, with a dedicated project director. This government produced the City West master plan to revitalise the western half of our city. This government developed the City Hill concept to kick off debate about the future of City Hill. This government, under the Minister for Planning, through the statement of planning intent in the ACT 2003, reinforced the commitment to the strategic importance of city to Canberra’s progress. Under this government, there has been a substantial increase in land sales, construction activity and economic development in the city. This government will provide the passion, will and drive to deliver real outcomes for not only a more equitable, egalitarian and sustainable Canberra but also a more prosperous city heart.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (11.52), in reply: This is an important debate. I agree with the Treasurer on some of the points he made not only about the importance of the debate but in welcoming the bold ideas that have come forward. I also would agree with the Treasurer in that I do not agree with all of the ideas put forward by any of the proponents. But this is about looking for a good framework from which to have a debate, and I am glad we have been able to have this debate.

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