Page 1869 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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MR STANHOPE: It is the case that the deed of agreement has been signed, certainly by the ACT government, I have to say. I am not aware of the final process in relation to its formal execution by both sides. I will have to take further advice on where the deed of agreement is in that process. It has been, I understand, if not executed, then agreed by me to be executed. I will have to follow up on exactly the final form or status of the deed of agreement.

It is the case that that does formalise an arrangement between the ACT government and the Australian National University in relation to the progressive development of a number of sites within the broad City West area. As we are all aware, the Minister for Planning and ACTPLA have, over a significant period of time, now been engaged in the development of and consultation on the formalising of a master plan for City West. During that period there has been extensive and exhaustive consultation with the community at large and, indeed, with each of the resident or constituent groups with a stake in the City West area.

There has been no shortage of consultation with all of the occupants of sites within City West at any stage of the City West master plan process. That is my understanding in relation to the progression and development of the deed of agreement and the arrangement between the ACT government and the Australian National University for the development of what will be, I think, a most exciting and enhanced part of the ACT.

I cannot answer the specific question in relation to the processes that were followed in relation to the demolition of some old and, I would think, unsafe buildings off Lennox Crossing. It may well be that they are being demolished as part of an alternative or other process that has nothing to do with the arrangement between the ANU and the ACT.

Let me just conclude by indicating that the budget tabled this week by the Treasurer includes $6 million for a substantial upgrade of Childers Street. This is part and parcel of the revitalisation of that vital part of the city centre. It is at the heart of the process which the government has employed and has been following in relation to our determination to make Civic the genuine heart of the city. It is a process that has been in place from the minute we came to government and it has been pursued quite vigorously by the Minister for Planning and by his officials.

DR FOSKEY: I ask a supplementary question. What provisions has the ACT government made to ensure that the homeless people sleeping around the buildings to be demolished for the arts and community organisations already in the area or which have been promised space in the area will not be unduly affected by the upcoming demolition?

MR STANHOPE: I will ask the Minister for Planning to take that specific question.

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Foskey for the question. The government has indicated to all of the community organisations in the ROCKS area that they will not be arbitrarily relocated without future arrangements being made for their future accommodation needs. Indeed, part of the work that is ongoing between the ACT government and the ANU at the moment is that, as part of any redevelopment or development proposals the ANU has for the City West precinct, we will seek to have community space potentially located in developments that they put forward as part of redevelopment of the City West area.

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