Page 4092 - Week 11 - Thursday, 21 September 2017

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colleagues and the National Capital Authority on this matter to stress that any redevelopment of these cultural assets is sensitive to their significant value to the people of Canberra and the nation.

In closing, I would like to stress that the best way to protect our built heritage is to preserve it and keep it open and accessible to the public. The Chief Minister has given several examples of where this has already been successfully done in Canberra, and I believe that keeping this front and centre of any plans for the site is an opportunity to create a truly fantastic site for all Canberrans and Australians to be proud of.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (12.20): I thank members for their contributions to the discussion today. This is, I think, an important topic to reflect on here, and I reject the point that Ms Lawder makes. I know many Canberrans that are very keen on these issues. Whilst we are citizens of this city, we also have a responsibility to acknowledge this city’s national role, and I know many people here are very conscious of that. It has a great history and these sorts of historical matters in the territory have great warmth. It is of great interest to many of our fellow citizens. I do not think that we can just ignore these things. I think that it is right that we canvass them in this place and put our view on behalf of our constituents.

The bottom line is that these are important buildings, as Mr Gentleman has just touched on. They do have incredible historical significance, and in the short history of this city we do need to be conscious of these things. As members will know, I am not one for standing still either. We need to allow our city to evolve, for new developments to take place, and sometimes that will be at the expense of heritage. In saying that, we always look for advice from the Heritage Council and the like.

But I think that there are also places that are of such significance that we need to take a different approach. I certainly think the parliamentary precinct, particularly south of the lake, is one of those unique places locally, nationally and globally, in a sense. There are not too many cities like Canberra that are unique in the way that they were planned, the way they were thought through and their integration with the landscape that the Griffins so successfully contemplated when they designed the centre of this city.

I welcome the supportive comments from the Chief Minister about the importance of preserving this heritage. Whilst we may have a slightly different view on how we go about that, where we do agree is that there is a lot of scope for the private sector to play a role. We probably disagree slightly on the methodology of how to get there but, nonetheless, I think that vision is right.

I appreciate the comments on the Hotel Kurrajong and the other location that Minister Barr mentioned at Acton. We have been fortunate those buildings have been well done. Certainly the Hyatt Hotel is another example we might contemplate. It is not without possibility. But I would rather see an approach where we look at long-term leases as a way of making sure these buildings are actively used.

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