Page 2056 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 June 2015

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For the university to continue its growth and remain competitive, the planning controls which govern development on the campus need to be broadened. Updating planning legislation will make the university more competitive by giving it the same commercial opportunities as other universities, including the Australian National University.

Through this bill, this government is supporting the university to realise these opportunities and at the same time deliver for our community—helping to create jobs, drive growth, and encouraging investment to secure the city’s role as the economic and learning centre of our region. The bill will deliver benefits to the wider community by helping the University of Canberra strengthen its foundations and ensure its viability into the future by diversifying its income streams.

Before I go into more detail on the bill, I would just like to say that the university is developing its capacity to contribute to the community and support the people who live, work and recreate in the Canberra region. A report released by the university in June last year, which studied what develops “wellbeing” in rural and regional communities, found that rural and regional communities with the greatest wellbeing have certain characteristics that help them adapt successfully to change, no matter what types of challenges they face. These characteristics include strong leadership and collaboration within the community, social connectedness and effective local institutions.

The campus master plan promotes the development of these characteristics by linking closely with the community and opening up facilities to other educational institutions here in the Canberra region and internationally. The plan has, at its centre, a connectedness to the university for students, academics and other staff through building a strong campus community, including sporting, child care and residential dwellings that are connected to the local community through pedestrian, cycling and increasingly road networks to the Belconnen town centre and other residential and educational facilities such as Radford College, Fern Hill Technology Park, and access to public transport and recreational areas.

The Planning and Development (University of Canberra and Other Leases) Legislation Amendment Bill will deliver two key things: a means through which the university can fully realise the potential of its crown lease and a mechanism for strengthening existing provisions relating to subleasing of land. These objectives are delivered through amendments to the Planning and Development Act 2007, the Land Titles Act 1925 and the Unit Titles Act 2001.

Let me first turn to the Planning and Development Act amendments. Through these amendments any lessee across the ACT will continue to have the capacity to sublease land and, because of the strengthened sublease framework, can be reasonably assured of being granted a mortgage over the subleased land, subject of course to normal lending criteria.

The components of the new leasing model that relate to the unit titling of a building on subleased land, however, are restricted to the University of Canberra, as a

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