Page 3969 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013
buildings, similar to what we have seen to the western half of the Melbourne Building, which is an outstanding demonstration of what can be achieved for these beautiful heritage buildings.
That is one aspiration I would be very keen to see realised from the city plan. There will be many others, but all Canberrans are encouraged to have their say. I have been delighted by the response to date and I look forward to the completion of the public consultation process.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.25): I thank Ms Berry for raising this issue today. I will be supporting Ms Berry’s motion. The Greens have consistently advocated for a long-term vision for our city—an environmentally sustainable vision that maps out our future as a city that is liveable, well connected and well prepared for future challenges of climate change, population growth and peak oil.
The city plan is an important piece of the planning picture. It was encouraging to see the response from the community to the first round of consultation, with more than 15,000 people having their say on the future of our city centre. The Greens welcome the opportunity for the community to further engage in the second stage of the consultation. I will be interested to know how the community responds to the draft plan—now that it has got to the next stage of detail, the next iteration—given the very significant level of interest that was demonstrated in the first round. It was certainly clear from that initial feedback that Canberrans want the city centre to be the cultural and economic focus of life for our city. They want a stronger connection between the city and the lake and they want a city centre that is vibrant and full of life.
In terms of specifics, the idea of a lakeside leisure centre has been well supported by the community. The aquatic centre has been retained in the draft plan. I think that is essential given the desire to redevelop the existing Civic pool site into a stadium under the current thinking. Retaining a health and fitness facility somewhere close to the heart of the city is vitally important. As a regular user—I am putting a declaration of interest on the table—and long-term member of that facility I am well aware of how popular it is and how convenient it is for many people in the city to just get out and go there during their workday. In a world in which we are seeking to increase people’s level of activity, having the convenience of that sort of facility nearby is vitally important.
The West Basin area is one area that has been put forward as having a high potential for change, with a proposed residential mixed use zone on the western side of Commonwealth Avenue. In principle, I support this, but I have some concerns about the privatisation of the foreshore. I would strongly argue for a wide buffer zone between the residential and commercial zone and the water’s edge so that public access is retained to the waterfront.
The schematic diagrams that have been released—or “artist’s impressions” is perhaps a better way of describing it—suggest a wide boulevard. I think that is going to be a vitally important part of that development when it proceeds in terms of the way the area is envisaged regarding access to national institutions and that simple idea, really, that the public should be able to access the waterfront. There has been a lot of