Page 2847 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 17 August 2005

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it should require high-quality design where energy and water use are minimised in adaptable, pleasant buildings;

it should provide incentives for existing buildings to be retrofitted for social and ecological sustainability; and

while seeking a mixed-use approach, we should consider noise levels and good neighbours.

For instance, live, noisy venues should be sited at some distance from residential developments, otherwise we are going to have a problem and they will be banned altogether and young people will be excluded.

We will be submitting these and other ideas to the Terry Snow/Canberra Times living city competition, in the hope that there will be many more and more substantive opportunities to contribute to the design process for a Civic that we can all enjoy, one that is not a dinosaur to 20th century illusions about abundant energy and water and one which puts people first.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (4.38): The government will support this motion today because we have already taken significant action to encourage community discussion on the future development of the centre of the Canberra city area. The enthusiasm and the range of use for future development that Dr Foskey has referred to are now being raised in the public arena because of the government’s commitment to make the city the primary cultural and meeting place for all Canberrans.

I have previously informed the Assembly of the scope of the Canberra centre program but I think it is timely to remind the Assembly of what has already been put in place to address the issues confronting the city and indeed to foster broader community awareness and debate.

Before I do that, it is worth reiterating one point: this Canberra central program is not just about City Hill and the precincts around City Hill. Those are very important components, but Canberra central focuses on the city as a whole, including City West, city east, the potential extension of the urban area down Constitution Avenue and the potential extension of the city to the lake. All of these issues are taken account of in the Canberra central task force’s work.

This government has already taken action to address the appalling lack of a coordinated development approach that we inherited from our predecessors. When we came to government we immediately acted to release much-needed land for office development in the city, and over the past four years four significant major blocks in the city have been sold to facilitate office development and a range of other activities. Construction is already under way on two of these sites, and this land release has enabled much-needed development in the supply of office space in the city, something which there was a failure to plan for by our predecessors and which resulted in high rents and lack of competitiveness for our city centre.

Under the Canberra central project, which was announced by the government over 12 months ago, a number of key actions have been implemented. These include:

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