Page 2079 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 15 May 2013

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In more recent years, the Calwell group centre precinct has had a small quantity of medium-density housing constructed in the otherwise suburban low-density neighbourhood. And today the adjacent fire and ambulance station serving the wider district is undergoing redevelopment, as we have heard, in the new emergency services program of facility upgrades.

There is land in the vicinity of the group centre that is undeveloped, but this does not justify the need for a master plan, certainly not at this point in time and given other priorities. In defining the scope for master plans, community involvement is vitally important. At present the justification for a master plan at the Calwell group centre lacks any urgency or community pressure for change. The master plan program is established with a focus on areas requiring or undergoing rapid change and that need intervention to assist in directing this to the optimum, most sustainable outcome, and in areas where we believe change is necessary and where growth should be focused to deliver the most sustainable urban outcomes.

The government has been delivering plans in these areas, and these plans are starting to deliver positive outcomes in development and change. And it is important to remember that planning is dynamic and that the master plans are not static documents but important plans to inform and implement necessary actions to drive the most positive and integrated change possible.

In summary, the government does routinely review programs and initiatives that are underway, and if there were a need for this centre to be master planned, then it would be reconsidered. However, the focus of the resources of the government is on places of greater need. So I do thank members for their input on this motion and thank Mr Wall for the motion.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (5.35): In closing the debate, Mr Rattenbury’s amendment will ensure that the Calwell precinct is placed on the list of priorities for master plans in the future. That is most definitely a win for the community. It is a win for the residents of south-east Tuggeranong. It is a win for the business owners there, and it is a win for those that are looking to invest in or place further development in that precinct.

Whilst the amendment that Mr Rattenbury has moved does change much of the intent and certainly does not place a deadline on the master plan being completed, which is disappointing, it is an issue that I and my colleagues Mr Smyth and Mr Seselja, while he remains in the Assembly, will continue to fight for and ensure that it is completed to offer that surety for the community. It is most certainly testimony to the consistent determination of the Canberra Liberals to ensure that the community’s views and the community’s expectations are reflected in the way that their shopping centre is developed.

Mr Smyth, for a number of years, championed the Calwell precinct and championed having a master plan developed for that area, as has Mr Seselja. And for that, I congratulate them, and the Canberra Liberals will be supporting Mr Rattenbury’s amendment.

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