Page 1688 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Mr Coe chose to highlight the negative and largely unsubstantiated comments made to the standing committee by some in the housing industry. He failed to acknowledge that there is strong community support for all of the key initiatives proposed by the variation. Mr Coe suggested that the draft variation was inconsistent with the government’s objectives of increasing density around local centres and transport corridors. Although the proposed RZ2 provisions will limit the number of multi-unit dwellings permitted on a site, other changes will enable other forms of infill development in established areas. These include reducing the minimum block size for dual occupancy from 800 square metres to 700 square metres and the new secondary residence provisions that have already been discussed.
In summary, variation 306 introduces many worthy planning initiatives, not the least being significantly improved solar access policies at both the subdivision and building stages. These must be embraced as vital components in the quest for a more sustainable pattern of development. There is still more work to be done. Other major policy changes to the territory plan may follow, such as possible changes to the disposition of residential zones throughout the city in line with the ACT planning strategy. This strategy seeks to focus urban intensification on town centres, around group centres and along major public transport routes.
Unless it is rejected, this variation will play a key role in ensuring the nature and scale of future development is appropriate to the needs of the community and for a more sustainable pattern of development. Variation 306 aims to improve the built form in the ACT and enable it to respond to the challenges of the future. Planning provisions are, by their very nature, amended from time to time to address changing needs and expectations. Therefore, I have asked the Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate to closely monitor the implementation of this variation, should it proceed. If difficulties are identified, amendments can be made to the territory plan, either substantively or through the technical amendment process.
However, any change to planning provisions will require a period of adjustment, and new policies should not be quickly abandoned. The government is committed to a more sustainable city and to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions profile. We are also committed to making sure that Canberrans that move into new homes do not have to pay as much for their heating and their cooling. We are committed to those Canberrans having better access to sunlight, particularly during winter, and to prevent their homes from being overshadowed by their neighbours.
These are all expectations that I think would be reasonably shared by the community. It is for these reasons that variation 306 should proceed, because it makes a significant contribution to all of these goals. The government does not support the motion put forward by Mr Wall.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.00): The Canberra Liberals believe that, on balance, draft variation 306 is bad for Canberra, and Mr Wall put the case very well on behalf of the opposition. I thank him for moving this motion on behalf of the opposition when I was away during the March sitting. Andrew, of course, has a keen interest in the building industry in Canberra—that being, of course, his personal history and his