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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 February 2015) . . Page.. 463 ..

individual sites are being combined into an omnibus variation so that the community gains an appreciation of the overall issues. This approach assists in telling a connected story of urban renewal.

The redevelopment of some public housing sites is necessary to revitalise and renew the public housing portfolio. Many of the public housing sites are old, expensive to maintain and have limited ability to meet tenant needs. Planning uplift will deliver better design outcomes, including improved amenity, and provide opportunities for better revenue returns. This could mean an increase in density and building heights on some of the sites, sites that are close to shops, public transport and other community facilities. These are sites where urban renewal is most appropriately located.

The variation also introduced a range of different housing types into the older suburbs. This will give people the opportunity to remain in the suburbs while they move into housing that better suits their needs. And we know maintaining community linkages is important when people get older. It also means that these people leave their houses, other people and families move in, further regenerating and renewing the suburb. We will also see a mix of generations, ensuring vibrancy in these areas of renewal. When land is sold it is important that it provides the best outcome for the community and it meets the government’s objectives set out in policies such as the planning strategy and transport for Canberra by ensuring appropriate revenue returns for the citizens of Canberra.

In response to community comments about pre-consultation events, the omnibus package has been split into two packages. The first package was released in November 2014, with the consultation closing just after Christmas last year. This included public housing sites in Kaleen and Lyons as well as land releases in Charnwood, Greenway, Mitchell and Symonston. The first omnibus package also included the site of the former Downer Primary School. The draft territory plan variation proposes to turn that site into a vibrant, mixed use development with a focus on residential development that will help renew the suburb of Downer.

The public submissions received are being considered by the Environment and Planning Directorate, who will in turn provide reports to me with recommendations on the way forward for each site.

The ACT planning strategy also calls for master plans to be undertaken. These master plans respond to place-specific needs that enable Canberra to be a city where everybody can take advantage of its network of centres, open spaces and modes of travel and enjoy a sense of wellbeing while participating in vibrant civic and cultural life. And I note Mr Coe’s comments earlier about planning with colourful diagrams, but it is important that we engage with the public during these processes and we get their ideas.

The master planning program for commercial, group and town centres aims to encourage the revitalisation of selected commercial centres within the ACT. These centres are ready for renewal through the encouragement of new development and the provision of opportunities for adjustment in the built form, improved connectivity in public places, to better accommodate future residents of, workers in and visitors to the centres.

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