Page 2133 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013

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These issues were at the forefront of the study tour I attended, which included a stopover at the Canberra Airport and a discussion about the Tralee development, aircraft noise and Sydney’s second airport debate. It was a valuable exercise for all of us, giving a new perspective on the planning vision for Canberra in our second century, where we have a special responsibility to get it right.

MR WALL (Brindabella), by leave: Dr Bourke and Mr Gentleman have given quite an extensive rundown on the main portion of the conference, but on 23 and 24 March, in the days leading up to the conference, I had the privilege of representing the committee at the Young Planners Connect conference, YP Connect, which was designed for young planners who are in the first five years of their career.

The weekend started with a reasonable amount of socialising and networking. We did a scavenger hunt around the city, which was an interesting opportunity to look at many of the sites and tourist opportunities that exist within the city from the eyes of someone who is not a local. That was followed by a networking and speed networking function, where there was the opportunity to meet and mingle with many of the young planners from around the country.

On the Sunday we attended a formal session which had a number of guest speakers. The young planners conference, YP Connect, was initially opened by Dy Currie, who is the president of the Planning Institute of Australia. She gave an enthusiastic rundown on her experiences in the planning industry, and stressed to young planners in the audience that planning matters and planning do in fact make a difference to the places in which we live.

She gave an extensive talk on the need to shift to a strategic planning outlook rather than planning simply focusing on development applications, and encouraged stronger community engagement at the beginning of the planning processes so that there can be a little bit more of a harmonious transition from the planning through to the construction stages.

We heard from Steve Quartermain, who is the Chief Planner in the United Kingdom Department for Communities and Local Government. He discussed the planning process and how that has evolved in the UK, including the national policy and planning framework, which is aimed at ensuring local community plans are the cornerstone of the planning system, making the planning system simpler and more accessible, ensuring that if there is no local plan developed for an area, the default position for any approved developments is that they are sustainable, that there is a focus on ensuring that strong environmental and historic values are preserved and that there is a high standard of design.

We also heard from a number of industry professionals. For example, MacroPlan Dimasi’s general manager for New South Wales talked about the interactions between essentially economics and the planning system. Planners need to be aware of issues such as housing churn and the relative merits of establishing business parks versus developing CBDs, and the connection between growth and housing affordability.

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