Page 3431 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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way to addressing the concerns of residents and providing them with a voice in the process.

Mr Speaker, one of the benefits of this legislation is that it would set up a body free from the impact of changes of government over the next 15 years and beyond, allowing it to focus on the job of developing what could become Canberra’s answer to precincts such as Docklands in Melbourne or the Brisbane city revitalisation. The bill has a 15-year sunset clause. This does not mean that the job would necessarily be completed by then, but it does make it clear that the authority is not intended to exist forever.

The bill prescribes a review by the minister seven years after its inception, to provide the opportunity for the authority and the community to achieve outcomes in terms of facilities and construction and to allow the opportunity for assessment of the needs of Canberrans in seven years, after some of these proposals have become a reality. A second review would take place after 14 years. The focus of it would likely be whether the authority had completed its job or whether the 15-year sunset clause should be amended and its life extended.

The bill provides the authority with the ability to facilitate the development of, rather than develop, the City Hill area. The authority would ensure that the master plan is created and then implemented, but it would not act as the developer. It would steer rather than row. The legislation incorporates modern governance principles to ensure transparency of process. Importantly, the authority would be able to undertake the project at no cost to government, as the proponents of one plan have demonstrated through their economic modelling. The opportunity for private sector development and the increased return from land sales would provide the territory with the funds to construct community facilities, with the revenue to construct buildings such as a new Legislative Assembly and with the funds potentially to construct a new convention centre.

One of the exciting aspects of this authority is that I believe it would have the opportunity to attract some of the best and brightest from Australia and overseas to be part of an exciting project in a way that existing government agencies cannot. I envisage that this authority would attract leaders, at the very least, in the fields of town planning and architecture, amongst others. The bill also strikes a balance between the independence of the authority and the need for community and Assembly involvement. The authority would, through this legislation, be provided with the framework and the ability to get the job done, to ensure that the City Hill development is more than a pipedream. It would provide sufficient independence to ensure that changes of government do not mean major changes in direction, and it would attract the best and brightest and provide the kind of focus that is needed for this kind of project to be a success. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legislation Amendment Bill 2005

Dr Foskey, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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