Page 1026 - Week 03 - Thursday, 23 March 2017

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mitigate this growth by building vital infrastructure like light rail now and making sure that we set up Woden for future growth.

It is important to distinguish between the recent development in Curtin and future developments at Woden town centre. Woden has a completed master plan providing clear guidance for developers and height limits consistent with a town centre setting. I get a strong sense from the community that they want urban renewal to take place in Woden town centre.

This month the ACT government opened the draft variation of the Territory Plan for Woden town centre to public consultation. This is an important step for delivering the objectives of the Woden town centre master plan. It will guide future development in the town centre. That does not mean that just any development should happen; urban renewal also means demanding quality design and construction rather than just accepting monoliths. Recent developments like Hindmarsh’s Bellerive, and Trilogy apartments as well, have seen improved architecture, though I recognise this is a subjective view. It is pleasing to see new development applications being made for more interesting residential properties, and we want this investment to continue. I hope people in the community have their say about these developments. These sorts of developments and upgrades can significantly enhance community spaces while also maintaining open spaces in our city.

While the ACT’s planning processes are generally good, there are some limitations. The planning process fails to reach many people in our community, like young people and working families, who have a legitimate stake in consultation. Chief Minister Andrew Barr has already raised this concern publicly. While the planning process offers the community some input into development, this can be late in the process. In this sense, consultation during the master planning process for Woden was a much more strategic and constructive discussion. These types of discussions, I think, yield much more value to our community in the long term.

The master planning process should not stop at the point where ACTPLA publishes the final plan. I believe that delivering Woden town centre’s master plan’s objectives should be the source of ongoing discussion between government, planners, developers, businesses and the community. That is why on 3 March I proposed that the ACT government host a round table to discuss the delivery of the master plan and start better communication between all stakeholders about planning, urban renewal and transport in the Woden town centre. I was pleased that today in question time the Chief Minister responded to my call by agreeing to host a government round table as part of a pop-up cabinet in mid-2017 at the Woden town centre. By involving all parts of the community I believe this round table will help to turn plans for Woden into renewal that benefits all Canberrans.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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