Page 659 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008
the overall needs of the community. I do not think that there should be a blanket ban. We need to find a balance between community facilities and the protection of urban open space. That is the way we will be approaching any plans to sell off former school sites.
The changes to the former A10 policy clearly represent a back flip by the minister and the government. They are in line with many of my public statements on this, particularly as the A10 has encroached into culs-de-sac. Years ago I made it very clear that the A10 policy had had negative impacts in particular areas, particularly in small culs-de-sac where traffic issues and other issues have arisen. The government has been slow but has finally realised the concerns—the serious concerns—of residents about this policy.
The government still has not got it right on core areas when we look at the encroachments in some of our suburbs, particularly the example of culs-de-sac, and then we look to what has happened in some of our town centres. We look at some of the recent developments in Tuggeranong, for instance. It is interesting that in a major town centre, on the edge of Tuggeranong, at the top of Anketell Street, we still see two-storey townhouses. It is an odd sort of planning system that leads to outcomes where we have what in some cases is inappropriate development in some of our garden suburbs, yet we keep development to two-storey townhouses in our town centres. That is an interesting outcome. We as a community need to have a broader debate as to where we want our infill to be occurring and what will be our approach to infill in the future.
The changes to Gungahlin are important. Gungahlin needs the opportunity to thrive as a town centre. In particular, the ability to attract a government department would be a very important step forward for the Gungahlin town centre. Whether that is an ACT government department or a commonwealth department, it will be important so that the Gungahlin town centre is able to grow. One of the dangers for the Gungahlin town centre is what will happen if this government rolls out pay parking there too early. That could potentially stifle the development of the town centre. But we certainly support changes that free up some development in Gungahlin.
Likewise, four to six-storey developments are quite appropriate in Braddon. In the next few years, I think Braddon will become an even more sought-after place to be, particularly as the industrial area there is redeveloped. That has some real potential. Braddon should be a place where we see a lot more people living. Hopefully, in the future we will see thousands more people living closer to the city; that would certainly be something that we would support.
Unfortunately, with some of the recent developments we have seen in the city, we sometimes still do not see the residential component from mixed use. We would like to see that more in the city centre as well as on the outskirts in places like Braddon. The minister might correct me if I am wrong, but I think that, with the redevelopment of the old cinema building, there will not be a residential component. That is disappointing because, if it is done well—where we see it done well—it has the potential to enhance the feel of our city. We would like to see that more in the future.