Page 2940 - Week 08 - Thursday, 25 June 2009

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the old cinema site in the city. I think that is another missed opportunity. We still do not see residential at section 84. We want to see it. We hope that that will be part of the plan moving forward very soon because I think that part of Civic and moving then into Braddon are important parts of this overall equation. We do want to see a lot more people living there. There should be thousands more people living in the heart of our city. There is no doubt about it.

In the Canberra I envisage in 10, 15 or 20 years time we will see thousands more people living in the city, thousands more people, or very close to it, living in places like Woden and Belconnen as well. That brings with it a vitality. That brings with it, I think, safety. One of the reasons people feel vulnerable after hours in Civic is sometimes because the of emptiness of it on a week night. I think when people live in the city and are going about their business, there is a certain sense of safety about that.

There are lots of potential benefits. I think this in an important first step. It is one part of this equation, and we are very happy to support this referral. We hope that the government’s apparent change of tune on this will be genuine and that we can actually work together to get some good outcomes. We will support sensible changes to planning laws that help bring about growth in our city in a sustainable way, that help bring about greater density. We have a record of supporting sensible changes to planning laws where we believe they are in the best interests of all Canberrans. We will continue to do that.

I am very hopeful that something good can come out of this referral. I would commend it to the committee members to take a very good look at this but also to look more broadly. They should use it as an opportunity to look more broadly at how we will grow our city in a sustainable way moving right into the 21st century. I commend the motion to members.

Motion (by Ms Le Couteur) agreed to:

That the debate be now adjourned.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (11.07) I move:

That the resumption of the debate be made an order of the day for the next sitting.

Mr Seselja: A later hour this day?

MS LE COUTEUR: No, another day. Today is going to be late enough with the budget.

Mr Seselja: There is a seven-week break now. Do you want to not have it referred to the committee for another couple of months?

Mr Barr: I don’t mind. It can sit on the notice paper. It depends a little on the workload of the committee. I am happy for them to take it now if they want. I was surprised that you were so eager. I thought you would resist it.

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