Page 928 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 25 February 2009

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(a) a review of order of occupancy legislation;

(b) the existing provision of, and necessity to supplement, prominent areas for the display of promotional material for live music events via bill posters;

(c) options to encourage or require large commercial developments in group and town centres to provide community bollards for the promotion of events via bill posters;

(d) examination of how building codes for residential and business development in commercial zones could be amended to ensure sound insulation and physical security are appropriate to co-location with live cultural events; and

(e) options to improve late night transport for large scale events.”.

MR COE (Ginninderra) (10.01): I thank Ms Le Couteur for raising these issues, especially those issues in relation to planning and bill posting. The opposition, of course, acknowledges that the live music industry and events scene in Canberra are an important part of our vibrant city.

Land use planning is a difficult issue. There are many different interests that have to be accommodated with the planning system and ongoing tensions between different land uses that may need to co-exist. Planning is hard enough with a good government and supportive administration, let alone with a minister that does not want to engage with his portfolio and a cabinet that does not know its highways from country roads or high-rise development from leafy suburbs.

I wholeheartedly support the motion’s call on the Standing Committee on Planning, Public Works and Territory and Municipal Services to review order of occupancy rules in the territory. After all, it was I who first called for this debate in January. I also support the motion’s call for residential and business development in commercial zones to be appropriate for the setting, with particular restrictions.

The order of occupancy issue first came to my attention earlier this year in relation to a development application on the Lake Ginninderra foreshore. Should the application be successful, it will allow for residential development at the old Pizza Hut restaurant at Emu Bank, up to 15 units above other commercial development.

There are concerns, especially amongst local business owners, that situating residential development so close to existing businesses, in particular the Lighthouse in Belconnen, will unfairly impact on these original occupiers. The Lighthouse regularly has live music gigs and also has a beer garden where patrons can enjoy socialising on the banks of Lake Ginninderra. Placing residential development so close to this venue may result in some noise complaints and threaten the viability of evening entertainment.

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