Page 2654 - Week 08 - Friday, 1 July 2005

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preliminary assessments are not required for any proposal involving a new building that would exceed by more than 7,000 square metres the gross floor area of the building it replaces, if any, and/or where the proposed building is 28 metres or greater in height.

The third recommendation from the committee sought that the ACT Planning and Land Authority better clarify the scope of draft and recommended final variations when they have multiple objectives. In this instance, some stakeholders were unclear as to whether this variation applied only to City West or throughout Civic. The government agrees with this recommendation. The variation has been amended to clarify the changes that relate only to City West and the changes proposed to apply throughout Civic. The intention of the variation is for the controls relating to colour, construction and materials for new buildings and the exemption for preliminary assessment for development to apply throughout Civic. The remaining policy changes apply to City West.

Recommendation 4 of the committee suggested that the intertown public transport route, or IPT route, be removed from figure 3.2, which is the figure that identifies the proposed changes to the territory plan map. This recommendation is not supported. The IPT route that runs through City West currently caters for buses and is a corridor for possible future high-speed transit and light rail. It is important that the IPT route be reserved to accommodate the future public transport needs of the city. I do not believe it is desirable not to have a defined IPT route through this area. Therefore, the government will be maintaining the existing IPT route in a statutory document. We believe that it should be maintained as such. However, it should be subject to further review with the ANU as it develops its implementation plan for the ANU-City West integration precinct.

Recommendation 5 of the committee’s report suggested that the government report annually to the committee on progress in meeting the five per cent affordable housing target for City West and the policies applied for meeting the target. The committee further recommended that student accommodation not be counted when monitoring progress towards achieving this target. These recommendations have been noted. The ACT government will respond periodically to the Legislative Assembly with advice on progress and meeting affordable housing targets.

With regard to student accommodation, the ministerial task force report entitled Affordable housing in the Australian Capital Territory: strategies for action of December 2002 revealed that students can be in housing stress more than young people overall. This report recommends that it is appropriate to provide accommodation for students as part of affordable housing and to take students into account when considering indicators for affordable housing. If students are not provided with appropriate purpose-built student accommodation, they will be competing for low-cost housing with other low income earners. If student accommodation is currently in affordable housing, then this opens the market for other low income earners.

The committee also recommended that a definition for RL617 be inserted into the territory plan—part D, definition of terms—through this variation. This recommendation is not supported, on the basis that the territory plan already contains a definition for RL, reduced level, under part D, definition of terms.

In subsequent variations a reference to relevant definitions will be included in the explanatory statement of draft and recommended final variations. The committee has

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