Page 3214 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005

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does have some control of height, provided it is not inconsistent with the national capital plan. That is where there is a fine distinction here and that is where I think we are being let down by this draft variation. That is why the Liberal opposition will be supporting the disallowance motion.

As I said, we are not saying that there should not be any residential development here. Our policy is that there should be some densification around transport corridors, but it needs to be done consistent with the character of the area and it needs to be done in a way that the people of Canberra can accept. I think that it has become clear that, for the people of Deakin, the prospect of a seven-storey development in their area, where currently there is nothing above one or two storeys, is out of character and that it is of concern to them.

That is where this variation has got it wrong. It has not put in any safeguards and controls for the people of Canberra. It has passed the buck and allowed the NCA to have control and it has left a lot of uncertainty. That is why we will be supporting the disallowance and we call upon the minister to work with ACTPLA and the NCA to get a better solution that gives certainty to the residents and to developers. What we have ended up with here is actually the worst of both worlds and it is just handing it to the NCA to decide what will happen in that area.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (10.59): As an Assembly, as a government, as a community, we are all extremely focused on the issues to do with more sustainable patterns of development in our city. As a community, we are focused very strongly, at least in our rhetoric, on putting in place planning and development policies that encourage the development of a built form that creates a more sustainable city. But when push comes to shove, unfortunately, on all too many occasions, some members of this place decide that it gets a little bit too hard.

The Labor Party’s policy in opposition and in government has always been to support intensification of development where it supports more sustainable transport use and where it supports activity in our town centres, group centres and local centres. This development achieves all of those outcomes. This proposal to change the land use achieves all of those outcomes. This is not a proposal to change the territory plan to permit multistorey development in the middle of a residential area. It is not a proposal to change the territory plan that will see a single residential dwelling destroyed for a larger-scale development. It is not a proposal that in any way will result in the overshadowing of any existing residential area in the city. It is a change to the territory plan that will create a higher density of development along a key public transport route in our city.

The territory plan, in its objectives and principles, argues that higher density development should occur in locations around our town centres, around Civic and along public transport corridors within the objectives and the principles of the territory plan. It is also consistent with the thinking of the government’s own strategic planning framework, the spatial plan, to encourage intensification of use along public transport corridors and around centres. This government has never supported, and previously in opposition did never support, isolated, standalone development proposals that did not meet those broader planning objectives. But this proposed change to the territory plan does exactly that.

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