Page 667 - Week 02 - Thursday, 6 March 2008

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overlay, and this is why.” That was the intent of the policy, and I believe the policy is working. I believe the justification in relation to those sites is entirely there.

Mr Speaker, this is a significant change and a significant reform. There are, of course, more challenges ahead for the planning and development of the city. We need to work more on providing for a more sustainable intertown public transport provision. We need to work more on building the sustainability of our urban development, both in high-density and low-density locations. But the territory plan as reformed by Labor is the platform for achieving that and for driving that forward. I congratulate the minister and his department for the work that has been done, and I commend the motion to the Assembly.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.54): Mr Speaker, this is an important vote. This is an important development and one which is long overdue. We need to put on the record again that this is a matter that the Liberal opposition has been calling for since mid-2002. When the previous Minister for Planning was off busily creating the ACT Planning and Land Authority, the really important issues—the ones about the approval processes, about how you streamline planning and about amendments to the territory plan—were the issues on which we were calling for action. Do that first, because that is the high priority area.

The question that was asked with the enactment of the Planning and Land Act and the establishment of ACTPLA was whether changing the legislation and the structure of the planning authority in the ACT would actually make things better, and the answer was that there was virtually no change. The really seminal changes that needed to be made are the changes to the approval process and the approval to the territory plan, which are probably now about five years overdue. It is better late than never, and the government needs to be congratulated on the fact that these plans and changes have arrived. That said, however, it is unfortunate that they have taken so long to get here.

There are some issues that need to be addressed, some of which Mr Seselja has touched on. It needs to be acknowledged that there was a desire that the territory plan, for the most part, be policy neutral. But there are some things which are extraordinarily disappointing in this, and I suppose it shows a lack of foresight from this government. We have the previous Minister for Planning making one last valiant attempt at justifying the existence of A10 areas scattered throughout the suburbs. It is instructive to look at the territory plan map at the beginning of volume 1 in relation to Belconnen in the electorate that you, Mr Speaker, and I represent. There is little scope for medium and high-density dwellings in our electorate in and around the town centre, but there is a huge amount of what used to be called A10, which are now RZ2 suburban core areas, spread throughout the suburbs.

I know that the government does not like to hear this, but the Liberal Party has been consistent in its opposition to this policy, because it actually does not provide for density in the areas that we need it. There is little or no scope in the territory plan for medium or high-density development in the Belconnen town centre. As Mr Seselja has just said, in the Tuggeranong town centre, we are building two-storey townhouses in places where we should be building at a much higher density so as to make our public transport more viable and to create corridors of density.

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