Page 3184 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 19 August 2008
I know that the timeline of planning is usually about 30 years. There has been a rule of thumb in construction that we build buildings to last 30 years. Mind you, that is a fairly modern approach. It certainly was not the approach of our forebears who put up the buildings that we now regard as heritage in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Modernism has certainly had its attractions but it has not often led to high quality and durable buildings.
We are going to have to look at this in the context of climate change. We cannot really afford to knock down our buildings every 30 years and rebuild them. Also, we have to make sure when we put in infrastructure, which is the basis of, and usually an unchangeable and intractable feature of, urban design, that it is there for 50 years to 100 years.
And in this light I was very concerned when the ACTPLA planners told me that the road designs—the major links to Molonglo—would be two lanes, with one going one way and one going the other way; a bit like the GDE was. But while there would be room to sort of put in a light rail or a rapid bus transit lane later on, it would not go in at the same cost-effective time as the road.
This is a township for the future, Mr Speaker. This is a township that I was told would be designed in such a way that there would be medium residential development there from the beginning unlike the process we have at the moment where we have a “Kingstonisation” approach where single unit dwellings are replaced by multi-residential developments. The idea is to encourage people to use public transport, to cycle and to walk. Yet we will not make public transport any more attractive. We will force the buses—of course, there will be buses—to compete with cars on those roads. There is not even a recommendation in this report to ask—
Mrs Dunne: There would have been if they had listened to me but I did not get an opportunity.
DR FOSKEY: It is really concerning that the voices of the committee that would have perhaps put that there were silenced. I have to say that I am really appalled by this process. To me it does not seem really any better than what Mr Stefaniak is being hauled over the coals for. I also do not believe the committee has had a chance to meet and actually put that admonition upon the chair. We are talking about a chair here who has acted as, I suppose, a servant of his government. That is his job; he is a Labor backbencher.
Mrs Dunne: No, it is not. No.
DR FOSKEY: I suppose if you regard the party as your employer, it is your job. But if you regard him as the servant of the interests of the community and this Assembly, how disturbing was it that Mr Gentleman did not mention once that a document that the committee had called for had not been delivered?
That is something the public accounts committee is creating a bit of a fuss about. We are talking about the functional review in our motion—a high profile document. I