Page 773 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 March 2016

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I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR GENTLEMAN: Variation plan No 341 facilitates the relocation and development of the new Gungahlin town centre bus station. The transport for Canberra 2012 to 2031 policy envisages a convenient, efficient, integrated and sustainable transport plan for the city. The realisation of the light rail and implementation of the new frequent network will contribute to an integrated transport system which provides access to fast, frequent and reliable public transport services.

As members of the Assembly will be aware, Gungahlin town centre and its surrounding suburbs is a rapidly growing and maturing district of Canberra. To accommodate the growth and respond to the increased transport needs of the Gungahlin community, the government is implementing a light rail connection between the city and the Gungahlin town centre. The new bus station in Gungahlin Place in the town centre will cater for buses servicing Gungahlin which enter the town centre. It will also be in close proximity to the light rail terminus, providing for an integrated and efficient intermodal connection.

To accommodate the plans for the layout of the new Gungahlin town centre bus station, the existing verges along Gungahlin Place need to be moved to allow space for bus stops and for retaining a lane of traffic. The underlying zoning of Boulevard Park pedestrian plaza in Gungahlin Place is commercial CZ1 core zone, which permits a public transport facility on the land. However, the plan of management for the public land overlay over the linear park contains specific requirements for the pedestrian plaza which are inconsistent with the use of the land as a bus station.

The Conservator of Flora and Fauna supports the changes to the public land overlay provisions. In a letter to the Environment and Planning Directorate in September last year, the conservator stated that:

The open space in the area is hard landscape and does not contribute to either ecological connectivity or water-sensitive urban design. The trees have not reached maturity, so any unforeseen loss of existing vegetation will not cause a significant impact.

Variation 341 amends the public land urban open space overlay for parts of Boulevard Park where road widening works are required for the bus station and associated intersection upgrades. The variation retains most of the pedestrian plaza areas that are covered by the overlay for public use. The draft variation was released for public consultation over a six-week period between November and December last year. At the close of consultation period, no public submissions had been received on the draft variation.

Under section 73 of the Planning and Development Act I have chosen to exercise my discretion not to refer the draft variation to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services. Accordingly, I have approved the variation to the territory plan for the new Gungahlin town centre bus station. I look

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