Page 2089 - Week 06 - Thursday, 8 June 2017

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We have not done a detailed analysis of that area yet. As I said, we are commencing a review of the planning strategy, and looking at those areas may well form part of that. The review of the planning strategy will take a year or two before it is finalised.

The purchases are in areas which are not, at this point of time, future urban areas and relate to an area where the western edge study has not yet been done. To make matters worse there is clearly confusion about who is meant to be doing what. Mr Tennent of CMTEDD told us that EPSDD is just starting its work and:

Our team also, aside from the just four-year land release program, does a piece of work on the future urban development fronts …

Later he said:

There has been a piece of work looking at all of the potential areas around the ACT, including Kowen.

He also said:

The western edge continues to come under close scrutiny and, again, the LDA are continuing down that particular path.

I am really confused here. We seem to have three strategic planning agencies. We have got CMTEDD, LDA and EPSDD. This really is not right. I very much hope that the government’s restructure of the LDA and economic development will solve this problem before money is wasted. And, even more importantly, I hope that this will solve this problem so that we actually plan Canberra for the future, we use good urban planning, rather than planning Canberra on the basis of what land the ACT government owns. I think we can all come up with instances where it appears that that may have been a major motivation behind planning changes.

I will only briefly mention a couple of other areas that the committee spent considerable time on. Housing was one. We talked about housing and public housing in particular. Public housing clearly has been the subject of much debate in this chamber. We have recommendations which are around better consultation so that we do not end up in the situation that we currently have in Weston Creek and also about keeping up with the supply of public housing as our population and our general housing in Canberra grows.

We should not be in the situation that we are in now where we are trying to do a major catch-up just to replace very ageing infrastructure. We should have a program that every year goes out and either buys or constructs more public housing units so that the amount of public housing does not continue to proportionately decrease. In fact, I would very much like to see it increase given the considerable pressure on housing in the ACT.

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