Page 4007 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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I also add my voice to Mr Gentleman’s praise of the consultation process. This has been one of the most inclusive and positive processes I have seen conducted by the ACT government, and I congratulate everybody involved in that process. I strongly encourage all of my colleagues in this place and all directorates to take note of this kind of consultation the next time they embark on significant projects.

Minister Corbell raised a couple of important points worth reflecting on whilst considering the development of this plan. This government has a smart, well-thought-out strategy for dealing with the significant growth that is expected over the next 15 to 20 years. By encouraging development in the city centre, in the outer town centres such as Belconnen and along major transport corridors, we are ensuring that residents maintain a good quality of life and keep the city’s footprint as small as possible.

Mr Rattenbury rightly points out that, over time, the city centre has evolved in a somewhat haphazard way that has undermined some of the potential strengths of this part of our city, such as City Hill. It was heartening to hear Mr Rattenbury concur with Mr Corbell and Mr Gentleman’s arguments for a walking-friendly city. I thank Dr Bourke for his insightful history lesson and contextualising of the development of our city. I also concur with his comments that it is high time our city centre caught up with Belconnen, which has had a city-to-the-lake-style development for a long time now.

Mr Barr talked about our lively West Basin and the different ways our community uses it. Ms Burch and Ms Gallagher called on everyone to participate in the process, with Ms Burch talking about the attractive, innovative buildings and community facilities that allow people to connect and to engage with the strength of our city character.

When we see the interest and the passion and the participation of everybody in our community, we can see that Canberrans really love our city. Most of us love this city; we on this side will keep talking the city up and you on that side can keep talking the city down. I am calling on all of my Assembly colleagues, including those on the other side, to have some faith in the consultation process. It is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to get involved and to engage with the government on the draft city plan. I encourage you all to participate.

Motion agreed to.

Planning—new convention centre

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3.40): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the broad support for a new Convention Centre from the Canberra business community; and

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