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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2016) . . Page.. 1057 ..

Consultation needs two elements to be successful: one is the presentation of the facts or plans, and the second is the preparedness to listen to counterviews and feedback from the community. This government and this Greens minister have failed miserably in this regard time and time again over the past four years. This Red Hill issue is the latest example of their continued failure.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning and Land Management, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations) (10.24): I thank Mr Rattenbury for bringing this motion back for discussion today. The primary purpose of territory plan variation No 334 is to rezone a number of blocks in the Red Hill housing precinct to facilitate redevelopment of ageing public housing stock and enable a new, diverse housing supply to be developed in an established suburb, well served by facilities and services.

The Red Hill housing precinct is over 50 years old and was constructed in response to the requirements of public servants in the 1960s. As we become an increasingly modern world, public housing tenants in 2016 have very different requirements from those of the tenants that this development was originally built for. In order to address these changing needs, the ACT government has embarked on an extensive public housing renewal program. To date, the program has included replacement sites in suburbs such as Monash, Chisholm, Coombs, Holt and Amaroo.

The ACT government’s public housing renewal program is intended to improve outcomes for tenants through the delivery of more sustainable public housing that better meets the needs of tenants now and into the future. The multi-unit properties of the Red Hill housing precinct, Stuart flats in Griffith, Gowrie Court in Narrabundah and Strathgordon Court in Lyons are all part of this public housing renewal program.

The government embarked on an extensive, 18-month-long consultation program in July 2014 in relation to the proposed changes for the Red Hill housing precinct. During this time the proponent, the public housing renewal task force, undertook a range of pre-consultation activities. This consultation included public meetings, presentations to community groups, drop-in information sessions and a design workshop with the community to refine the proposal on which the territory plan variation is based. This consultation was in addition to the statutory consultation process surrounding the planning changes themselves.

During the statutory consultation process the draft variation received 97 submissions from 93 individuals and four community organisations. The submissions, on the whole, supported redevelopment of the site. Some of the submissions raised issues such as traffic, height, density and zoning. The government has listened to the community and has taken measures to address the concerns raised by the community.

The Environment and Planning Directorate addressed concerns raised in the submissions by reducing the height of the six-storey elements proposed in the original draft variation plan to a more conservative four storeys. This change will reduce the number of dwellings permitted on the site, and further decrease the impact of traffic in the area.

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