Page 3963 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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celebrate. People also want the city centre to develop a vitality, a liveliness that will draw them to it at all times of the day and night. They want the city centre to be the focus of civic, cultural and recreational life for the wider ACT and region. There is a clear call from the community for the city centre to be less about cars and more about people and about more walkable connections to all parts of the city centre and to Lake Burley Griffin.

The former Australian government recognised the importance of our regional and capital cities and, through its liveable cities program, supported governments in meeting the challenges of improving the quality of life for people in our capital cities. It has established partnerships between governments to promote high quality urban design, improve the quality of open spaces and public places, address high levels of car dependency and traffic congestion and support cities in tackling the challenges of climate change.

This ACT government has worked with the Australian government to successfully invest in the future of our city through the draft city plan. Jointly funded by the ACT and Australian governments under the liveable cities program, the ACT government’s draft city plan is a single, overarching strategic framework that sets a clear plan and direction for the city centre into the future.

The draft city plan places the city centre at the heart of the ACT as the predominant town centre, while recognising its local, regional and national goals. Importantly, the draft city plan also provides the urban planning framework for the city centre and establishes directions that can inform public and private investment and decision-making, to support the cohesive and long-term viability, vibrancy and relevance of the city centre.

One hundred years on, the city centre has grown from a village to a modern centre that sits at the heart of the nation, our region and our local area. The city centre is growing and evolving, and the draft city plan provides strategic direction while remembering the planning heritage that started with the Griffins.

The whole of the ACT and region will benefit from having a world-class CBD. Residents from throughout Canberra will benefit from city to the lake through access to the proposed facilities such as a new stadium, convention centre and superior aquatic centre. They will contribute to community pride, social cohesiveness and regional liveability.

This project will provide a shot in the arm to the construction industry, creating several thousand jobs and injecting over a billion dollars in economic activity. This impact will be felt territory wide. Key local and regional community benefits from the completed project include access to superior and unique facilities; a substantial increase in the range, quality and type of cultural, sport and recreational opportunities; social infrastructure that improves the overall mental and physical health of the community through active lifestyle, participation and social inclusion; opportunities to promote diverse activities for socially disadvantaged groups; broad economic benefits, business opportunities and jobs in the tourism and hospitality industries; and an increased housing supply to offer greater choice of homes for Canberrans.

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