Page 3964 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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We know that a city’s lifestyle plays an ever-increasing role in creating a place where people want to live and work and want to visit. While people move to new cities for employment, they decide to stay because of lifestyle. We want people to stay in the city centre, to live, invest, work and recreate. The draft city plan provides a real opportunity to position the city centre as that kind of place—to make it a destination of choice for people, business and investment.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (11.05): I rise with my colleagues to support the city plan and commend the government on the work that it is currently doing through its high-level and effective community consultation.

The city plan is about looking at the past 100 years of growth in Canberra and using this process to plan for our next century of growth. Like other capital cities around Australia, we want our city centre to be a destination where people live, work and play. It is planned that the city centre will house 10 per cent of the territory’s population growth over the next 20 years. To accommodate this growth, the ACT government needs to investigate the needed growth of housing, community and recreational facilities, together with retail, lifestyle and other services, while maintaining its core business and commercial focus, which are what many Canberrans currently use this area for now and will continue to want to use it for in the future.

The city plan provides a framework for the functional expansion of the city centre as a place to live, work and play. The plan will help inform both government and private stakeholders in their respective decision-making to support the city centre through realising its full potential as a vibrant, lively and attractive place to live, work and play. The city will be able to continue to respond to people’s desires for inner city living by providing an attractive lifestyle that is well connected to public transport, jobs, recreation, community facilities and services while maintaining open space, views and vistas.

The city centre has an opportunity to create real capacity to meet anticipated future needs. This means that there are real opportunities to revitalise and rejuvenate character areas as well as being able to provide new areas for growth and development that will shape the future of our city centre. Most of the land suitable for the new development in the city centre is focused around City Hill in Vernon Circle and near the lake. This presents real opportunities to enliven what has always been part of the city that the community have wanted to see grow and develop.

The city to the lake project provides for an urban extension of the city centre towards the lake. A vibrant public urban waterfront will be created, uniting Commonwealth Park and City Hill as integral parts of the city centre. This will better connect the lake and major national education and cultural institutions, such as the Australian National University and the National Museum of Australia, with the city.

Lake Burley Griffin is a local and national icon that defines our city. This plan, along with the city to the lake plan, highlights the need to build on the opportunity it presents to be a lifestyle and recreation focus and to make the best of the lake as an asset as well as a national treasure.

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