Page 3761 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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people—workers, residents, visitors and investors. As an increasing number of people live and work in the city centre, it will become more vibrant and dynamic. This will continue to attract visitors to Civic as well as foster business, tourism and employment opportunities.

The government will continue to invest in Civic as the heart of our territory. We will continue to work with the private sector to achieve the best outcomes for the territory and its citizens as well as for industry.

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: We are always happy to provide entertainment for the Muppet Show, Mr Speaker.

More so than ever, Civic is a major commercial and employment hub for the territory. A number of key sites have been sold for development in recent years, and this has included sites for offices, apartments, student accommodation and mixed-use developments, and more releases are anticipated in the near future.

A site in the ANU Exchange in City West has been slated for release in this year’s land release program. As well, the two car parks opposite the Sydney and Melbourne buildings will be re-released to the market next year. It is likely that these two important sites will include a broad range of commercial and residential uses, including offices, apartments and a hotel.

In recent years a number of Civic’s new developments have included apartments and student accommodation. In addition to the future land releases I have indicated, we will continue to work with the private sector to convert low-grade office accommodation to further increase the number of residential dwellings in the city.

It is my view that this conversion should be economically viable without significant government subsidy. However, the government are committed to the continued improvement of environmental amenity and our public spaces, and we are committed to working in partnership with industry to realise the best outcomes for the city.

To this end, there will be a 75 per cent remission on the lease variation charge for adaptive reuse developments in Civic that demonstrate improvements to environmental performance and public space. This will complement the government’s investment in projects to improve the look, feel and operation of Civic.

The Canberra city area action plan for 2010-16 was released in October of last year, and it described 24 projects between Haig Park and Lake Burley Griffin. These projects include, as my colleague Mr Corbell has indicated earlier in question time, dedicated public transport lanes, new bus stations, lighting improvements, verge upgrades and parkland enhancements.

This year’s budget included feasibility for funding on the Northbourne Avenue public transport corridor, improving connections to Civic and the surrounding districts and making it a more accessible destination for all Canberrans. We continue our

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