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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1230 ..

MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Cody for her question and interest in the Woden area. Earlier this month I was pleased to announce the start of community consultation on an important draft Territory Plan variation for the Woden town centre. The draft variation to the Territory Plan implements the recommendations of the master plan for the Woden town centre. The proposed changes will guide development and encourage renewal within the Woden town centre. The variation builds on extensive community consultation with residents and businesses on the draft master plan so that the centre could become a better place for residents and more attractive to employers and employees.

These proposed changes to the Territory Plan will implement the planning elements of the master plan, clarify the rules around building heights and open the way for new investment proposals to come forward. After the release of the master plan and the subsequent draft variation, we have already seen several new development proposals come forward to take advantage of these proposed planning changes.

The variation makes zone changes and updates the precinct codes to encourage development. Among other things, the zone changes will allow more residences to be built, including medium and high density housing that gives residents more housing choice and will meet the needs of older people wishing to downsize but remain in their area, as well as younger people seeking an urban lifestyle.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the government is working on the renewal of the Woden town centre. We are keen to continue to work with the private sector to create a bustling, very busy centre where people want to spend their time.

Public housing—Mawson

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Housing and Suburban Development and relates to government housing in Mawson. A spokesperson for residents in Mawson has stated that: the development does not appear consistent with the zoning regulations; the site is zoned suitable for community facility, not public housing; there has been no consultation regarding the selection of the sites; the community became aware of the government's suburb and site selection via an article in the Canberra Times; and it appears that the approach taken is underhanded and one without an evidence base to the decision-making process. Minister, what evidence base was used to select this site, and will you make that evidence available to residents?

MS BERRY: For the record, in no way has the government attempted to be underhanded or disguise public housing renewal. We have been talking about it for years. We have been talking about how we are going to be developing public housing all across the ACT. Supported housing is permitted under community facilities land zoning and that is why these sites have been selected as places where public housing would be suitable and would meet the needs of our public housing residents.

This part of the consultation, I should remind members, is the first part of a conversation with the community. I do not know how else you start that but to start it.

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