Page 3967 - Week 13 - Tuesday, 17 November 2015

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Riverview development—zoning—petition No 10-15

The response read as follows:

Thank you for your letter of 5 August 2015 regarding Petition No.10-15 received by the Assembly in regards to citizens of the Australian Capital Territory’s disapproval of the change to zoning from agricultural use to residential use for the Riverview development site in West Belconnen.

The ACT component of the Riverview development site is to be rezoned via Variation to the Territory Plan No 351(V351) - West Belconnen Urban Development. This variation, prepared by Environment and Planning Directorate, was referred to me for consideration.

After consideration of the report on consultation and other supporting documents, I believe that the matters raised during the consultation period have been adequately addressed. The supporting documents with the report on consultation for V351 can be accessed at
territory plan

It is for this reason that I decided to exercise my discretion to not refer V351 to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services under section 73(2) of the Planning and Development Act 2007. I subsequently approved V351 on 23 October 2015.

The development potential of the subject site was firstly realised in the Canberra Spatial Plan and then in the ACT Planning Strategy. The Planning Strategy marked the area as a ‘future urban investigation area’. It further stated that “Areas for future possible settlement within the ACT, including Kowen Plateau in the east and west Belconnen, will be considered in a regional context and in terms of their interrelationships with immediately adjoining areas of NSW.”

Since 2009, a series of investigative studies have been undertaken for West Belconnen (including NSW land immediately adjacent the ACT border). Based on these investigations, V351 proposes to put the intent of the planning strategy into effect. Though, the creation of a national park does not form part of this draft variation.

As a result of V351, a 360ha conservation corridor will be created as nature reserve along the Murrumbidgee River. If land in NSW is to be developed, it could potentially add another 220ha (including the Ginninderra Falls) to the conservation corridor.

Ginninderra Falls is situated in NSW and is outside ACT’s jurisdiction. Detailed planning around Ginninderra Falls is the responsibility of the NSW Government. As such, any proposal regarding a national park incorporating Ginninderra Falls should be referred to the relevant NSW authority.

However, given the cross-border nature of this Riverview development, the ACT Government is prepared to work with the NSW Government if a more comprehensive proposal for the Ginninderra Creek corridor (including the Ginninderra Falls) to become a national park is to be considered by the NSW authority.

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