Page 3215 - Week 10 - Thursday, 25 August 2005
What I am most disappointed about with this debate is that the opposition to a proposal that is consistent with all the planning philosophies that drive a more sustainable built form of our city comes from the Greens. The Greens talk about sustainable development, they talk about making the hard decisions, they talk about encouraging development patterns which encourage greater public transport usage down the path, encourage the viability of centres, but when a development proposal comes along that achieves and fits perfectly into those objectives, they do not support it. There is a contradictory and hypocritical position, regrettably, from Dr Foskey in this instance.
This variation has been significantly consulted upon and a significant number of people have had their say, both through the formal exposure of the draft variation during last year and through the planning and environment committee’s investigation into the variation, both of which, of course, are mandatory processes under the land act.
It seems from the debate today that the argument has been about height. I want to make very clear that the ACT government, the territory, does not have statutory responsibility for the maximum height of this development, of development on this site, and that is what I have said consistently since the variation was tabled. This variation has been supported, the change to residential land use has been supported, unanimously by the Assembly’s planning and environment committee. It has been supported by Mr Seselja, it has been supported by Mr Gentleman and it has been supported by Ms Porter. They have unanimously agreed that residential development on this site is an appropriate land use and should proceed.
They have reflected in their recommendations the concerns raised in the committee hearings by community members about the potential height of development in this area. That issue of height is an issue for the National Capital Authority. Adelaide Avenue is a national approach route under the national capital plan. They have statutory responsibility for the maximum height of development in those areas, the maximum height on those approach routes. It is not the role of the ACT government to set height in regard to this site. I am very happy to remain on the record as saying that, as planning minister, I support seven-storey development on the site, but the bottom line is that it is not a matter for the ACT government to determine.
If you want to get into the technicalities of this, you should look at the recommendation of the planning and environment committee. The planning and environment committee recommended in recommendation No 1 that the B15 area specific policy include a requirement that the height of the residential buildings on the site be generally no higher than three to five storeys. That recommendation is inconsistent with the existing development control plan set by the National Capital Authority for the site. The National Capital Authority’s requirements for the site are that any development on the site should be predominantly three storeys and a maximum of four storeys in height. The planning and environment committee recommended three to five storeys. So even the planning and environment committee’s recommendation is inconsistent with the existing development control plan for the site.
The government’s view is that the matter of height is, regrettably, a matter for the National Capital Authority. They have statutory responsibility for setting the maximum height for this site. The ACT government will not be making any representations in