Page 5391 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Le Couteur for the question. The answer to her question is, no, I have not. Under the Planning and Development Act, I have discretion as to whether or not I believe it is necessary to refer to the planning committee a draft variation which has been subject to public consultation. I take the view that in relation to draft variations which are highly complex, and particularly where they are highly contested and there is significant diversity of community views on the matter, it is entirely appropriate that the committee provide comment and undertake an inquiry into it.

But in relation to the two variations that Ms Le Couteur has mentioned, both of those have been subject to detailed and exhaustive public comment. There is a high level of unanimity amongst submitters about the outcomes that the community is seeking in relation to the draft variation. In particular, in relation to Gungahlin, it is entirely appropriate that we get on with actually enacting the planning changes needed to address some of the issues that the community, and indeed this Assembly, have been urging the government to address.

For example, I indicated in my comments yesterday in tabling the variation dealing with the Gungahlin town centre that this Assembly, only a month or so ago, resolved and urged the government to take steps to address issues with through traffic on Hibberson Street and the need to have better traffic management arrangements in relation to the town centre. Part of the solution to that is to enact the variation for the Gungahlin town centre, to create a ring road to provide for the diversion of traffic away from Hibberson Street and improve the amenity and the operation of that central area of the Gungahlin town centre.

So that is why I have moved in the way I have in relation to those draft variations. It is because I believe that is what the community are expecting. They do not want to see another lengthy inquiry. They want to see action on these issues, and they want to see these issues addressed. That is why I have made the variation. But that does not mean that as minister I am not going to refer draft variations to the standing committee. In fact, I think the standing committee plays a very important role in providing further scrutiny and oversight of draft variations to the territory plan, particularly those which are contentious, which are complex and where there is a wide diversity of community views.

MS LE COUTEUR: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Le Couteur.

MS LE COUTEUR: Minister, given that the decision to grant an exemption of third-party appeals in the Kingston Foreshore precinct was based on this area—I quote from your media release—being a highly changeable, high value area, will this exemption be extended to all other changing, high value areas in Canberra?

MR CORBELL: No, it will not. These assessments are made on a case-by-case basis. I think it is important to note that, in relation to the Kingston Foreshore, this is an area which has had a very extensive history of planning studies, master planning

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video