Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 2017) . . Page.. 4113 ..
MR GENTLEMAN: Yes, the draft Tharwa village plan contains several key recommendations that are aimed at improving the village’s recreational and cultural appeal and generating economic growth opportunities. These recommendations include plans to make the village core an attractive social, recreational and creative hub for the local community while also attracting visitors to experience the fine qualities of a rural village lifestyle.
This plan contains recommendations to release vacant blocks of land that are suitable for residential development and encourage a built form to complement the historic features of Tharwa’s older houses. This will ensure that any development preserves the history and uniqueness of Tharwa while enhancing its history, both Indigenous and European, and its unique natural environment.
Requirements for the preservation of the natural environment, particularly improving the riparian zone of the Murrumbidgee River, will ensure that the natural beauty of the area is not lost but instead enhanced into the future. This will continue to create benefit to the local residents and also create improved recreation opportunities for the greater Canberra community.
The importance of the Murrumbidgee River for the town’s character and the opportunity to strengthen the focus of the river for recreation and environmental activities are key focuses for the residents of Tharwa and are recognised in the draft plan. All recommendations are designed to address concerns that local residents have expressed regarding infrastructure, including water, telephone and internet, as well as the need for renewed community uses and commercial activity in the core area of the village.
As a result of these recommendations, the ACT government is hoping to preserve the Tharwa feel that the community wishes to be maintained, while improving the village for both residents and visitors.
MR STEEL: Minister, can you provide further detail on how the heritage values of Tharwa are being treated in the draft village plan?
MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Mr Steel for his interest in this area. Heritage values are of paramount importance in this plan and are reflected in its recommendations. Set in picturesque landscape beside the Murrumbidgee River at the foot of Mount Tennent, Tharwa is the ACT’s oldest European settlement and close to the hearts of many. As a result of this, heritage concerns are carefully addressed in this draft plan.
The general planning policies for river corridor zones around the Murrumbidgee and the village area itself set out to reinforce and preserve the landscape, heritage values and ecological continuity while providing for a balanced range of recreational and tourist-related uses. The community support for limited development which respects Tharwa’s rural village character and heritage values has been acknowledged in the draft plan and the rezoning of limited areas which promotes adaptive re-use options that respect the heritage values of the individual sites and places, such as cultural and low-scale commercial activities, will achieve this.