Page 2255 - Week 07 - Thursday, 23 June 2005

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I have chosen to use my call-in powers in this instance because I consider both proposals will have a substantial effect on the achievement of objectives of the territory plan in respect of the Civic Centre. The particular criterion in the land act, section 229B (2), states:

The Minister may consider the application if, in the Minister’s opinion … (b) the application seeks approval for a development that may have a substantial effect on the achievement or development of objectives of the Territory Plan.

The proposal significantly contributes to maintaining and promoting the Civic Centre as the main commercial centre for Canberra and the region.

Section 229B of the land act requires that, if I decide an application, I must table a statement in the Legislative Assembly within three sitting days of the decision. As required by the act, and for the benefit of members, I table a statement providing a description of the developments, details of the land where the developments are proposed to take place, the names of the applicants, details of my decisions and the grounds for the decisions. With the statement I also table the comments of the ACT Planning and Land Council on this matter.

Urban environment

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received a letter from Mr Pratt proposing that a matter of public importance be submitted to the Assembly for discussion, namely:

The state, or condition, of Canberra, and the current management of the urban environment by the Government.

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (3.24): This motion of public importance is raised today because of this government’s failure to ensure that the condition and appearance of our urban environment is one befitting a national capital. The urban services minister has not given serious attention to a raft of issues which daily lower the confidence of tourists, businesspeople and ACT residents, who expect a satisfactory level of attention to the urban environment.

In addition to the plethora of complaints my office receives daily about the state of this territory, one only needs to look around, anyway, to see the growing problems with graffiti vandalism, littering, illegal dumping, undermaintained open space, long grass and dying ovals, to see that this government lacks pride in looking after the appearance of its own city. A letter in the Canberra Times only yesterday, Wednesday 22 June, proves my point. A constituent asks:

Why is the ACT government looking to sack 80 workers in the Department of Urban Services when there is so much work to be done in cleaning and maintaining our city?

The constituent goes on to say:

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