Page 2131 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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In 1975 the NCDC reported an emphasis on moving away from cars to public transport and supported bike paths. In 1982 public transport became the favourite option for Canberra, and bus use tripled in four years, which was fantastic. In 1980 the challenges were falling back to population growth, and the NCDC moved back to support the car. In 1984 the NCDC moved back to the pre-Whitlam times and argued against public transport. So it was a pretty interesting discussion from Dr Karl Fischer.

Finally, a regional planning and development symposium was held at the PIA to discuss how planning can assist regions undergoing change arising from a combination of demographic, social, environment and economic factors.

We had a presentation from Dr Susan Parham. This was a masterclass on interactive urban design. She encouraged everybody to make sure they were working as a facilitator for economic development, and said that we needed to represent all involved, not just developers. She also focused on adaptation to climate change, and said that that would be the new norm in the future for planning.

All the speakers made fantastic contributions. They were exciting and innovative. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the speakers, while excited about design, were far more concerned about the effect of planning on the social fabric of society. As I mentioned, it was a great opportunity to showcase Canberra with the tours.

The PIA’s national congress adopts a different theme each year to ensure that it is contemporary and that it is at the leading edge of thinking in relation to land use planning. I note that the PIA’s next conference, entitled “Connecting People and Ideas” is to be held in Sydney in March next year.

It was not possible for all of us to make it to all of the conference presentations, but I hope I have given you a taste of what was on offer and some of the issues and challenges facing the planning profession in the 21st century. Members interested in reading more about the issues discussed at this year’s PIA national congress can find many of the conference papers and presentations on the Planning Institute’s website.

I would like to thank my committee colleagues, Mr Wall and Dr Bourke, who attended the conference, and a special thanks to Veronica Strkalj, our committee secretary, for her great organisation and hard work.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra), by leave: I rise, too, to talk about the 2013 PIA conference. The 2013 PIA conference was an opportunity for planning committee members to hear a wide range of speakers talking about contemporary issues and practices in planning. Members were also able to reflect upon the achievements of planners focused on creating better cities and better regions.

The achieving effective planning workshop gave me an insight into how planning success had achieved the desired outcome in several Australian contexts. The transport oriented development—TOD—projects in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney demonstrated the problems facing planners and the solutions they adopted.

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