Page 3487 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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they are sitting here trying to retrieve something from the dust and desolation of their bad policy decisions.

It was a failure by the Labor government, supported by the Greens in this place. They really need to go back to taws, go back to talking to people and trying to look forward, not to preserving what we had in the past, because preserving what we had in the past may in fact be impossible. We should be looking forward to ways to structure retailing in the ACT in the future. The Liberal Party’s planning policy has always been to maintain the hierarchy of town centres and group centres. The resulting increased density of urban infill and intense residential development will make those centres vibrant. Other centres will thrive or wither according to the demands of the market.

I know that the market is anathema to the Greens, but let us look at some of the successes. Look at the Florey shops. I am sure that Mr Stefaniak uses the Florey shops on a regular basis. They are thriving. They do not do anything special, nothing out of the box. They have a hairdresser, a butcher, a real estate agent and a baker, all of those really standard things that people come to expect. On the other hand, look at Griffith. It is very much a set of speciality shops and it is absolutely thriving. You can never find a place to park at the Griffith shops.

We have some success stories, and I think the classic one in my electorate is the Melba shops. A few years ago it was burnt-out hulk. There was one chippo there that was hanging on for grim life. Somebody bought the shops and decided to sink some money into it. It is probably not in your area of commonly passed travels, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, but those shops have probably increased in size by 50 or 60 per cent. There are two new restaurants there and on most weekend evenings you cannot get a place to park; nor can you get a seat in those restaurants in the Melba shops, which were almost completely derelict. It was a burnt out hulk.

There have been failures. The Latham shops, I would contend, were a failure. There were many things that probably went wrong there. Mr Stefaniak said that the Macgregor shops are now pretty much completely derelict.

Mr Stefaniak: It is a hole in the ground.

MRS DUNNE: Is it now a hole in the ground? That is probably an improvement. The Greens are wringing their hands and saying, “The government ought to do something about retail policy.” One of the significant contributors to the failure of retail policy was their support for variation 200.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (4.24): As Mr Corbell has already said, the government supports the broad intent of Dr Foskey’s motion. However, it does not support several points of detail. Therefore I will be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment.

In its last term, the government spent considerable time and resources in the preparation of both the Canberra spatial plan and variation 200 to the territory plan. The Canberra spatial plan outlines a strategic direction that will help manage change and provide for growth to achieve the social, environmental and economic sustainability of Canberra.

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