Page 1624 - Week 04 - Thursday, 7 April 2011

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The government envisages an ongoing program of approximately four master plans each year for the next six years, subject to annual budget funding. This represents an ambitious program that responds to community needs and government policy for urban renewal. The 24 places included in the preliminary priority list of a master plan program have been selected from the 17 group centres, five town centres, five rural villages and six transport corridors, noting the master plans already completed and currently under development.

It is intended to consult on the broad priority list during the public consultation on the revised planning strategy, which is anticipated later this year. However, as the program will commence in the new financial year, a selection of the highest priority areas for the first year of the program has been established.

This selection was based on the following criteria: places that are likely to experience the greatest pressures for change from current government policies or other works projects; places that support the delivery of transport for Canberra network 12; and places that support the redevelopment of public housing assets by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services.

Accordingly, the priority list for the 2011-12 financial year is: Oaks Estate, which is already committed and some work is being undertaken in the preparation of the master plan; the Weston Cooleman Court group centre; Athllon Drive, a major transport corridor; and a part of the Belconnen town centre as part of that centre’s renewal process. The priority listing for subsequent years is based on most need as determined against the set of criteria. The nomination by the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services of centres for inclusion on the priority list will also be considered where it would support public housing redevelopment.

Community consultation on the priorities for the list of places in accordance with this Assembly resolution will be through the refreshed “time to talk” website. I believe this is an invaluable vehicle for consultation. It provides government with the opportunity to display information and plans that can illustrate the intent, but more importantly it allows people from across Canberra, people of all ages and people who are often time-poor, to contribute to the overall planning of our city and to the planning of local areas.

However, I believe the Assembly needs to be realistic in acknowledging that, given the multiple communities of interest, it is unlikely that this process will arrive at a consensus position and it will be necessary for the Planning and Land Authority to evaluate and recommend the final list, having regard to community input alongside a range of objective criteria.

I will now briefly outline the process for the master planning projects under the proposed priority list. Each master plan will follow a standardised process that meets the government’s community engagement guide, similar to that currently being applied to the Tuggeranong, Erindale, Kambah and Pialligo projects, but tailored where necessary to meet particular circumstances. The consultative nature of the proposed process provides an opportunity for the local community and stakeholders to influence the outcomes and guide the nature of future changes.

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