Page 20 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 13 February 2018

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discussion paper launched in November last year begins a conversation with the community about housing choices.

So far our conversation has focused on: “What kind of city would you like to live in?” and “Does the current housing supply meet your needs?” The next step in our engagement, the collaboration hub, will be launching in April. This process will bring together 36 citizens over five in-depth meetings and will consider and weigh up the demands, the options, best practice and the desires of stakeholders. It will explore issues such as what zoning should allow and what provisions and principles Canberrans agree are important to deliver the housing we want.

Parallel to housing choices is the demonstration housing project. The timing of these two projects presents a unique opportunity for the collaboration hub and the demonstration housing project to interact in a way that enriches both processes. The demonstration housing project provides case study like examples of the impacts and viability of the decisions of the collaboration hub. Equally, the hub’s deliberations will be guided through the demonstration housing project by providing insight into which housing choices are desired and where. In early 2018 the government will seek innovative development proposals that target a number of demonstration areas, including environmental performance, innovative design, innovative delivery of tenure, and affordability.

Fourthly, another substantial planning project is Dickson section 72. The government identified Dickson section 72 as a site with several opportunities where broader community benefits could be readily realised. Its location within 800 metres of major public transport services on Northbourne Avenue and next to the Dickson group centre and recreational facilities at the Dickson playing fields means it is an important precinct where we can reconsider its best uses for the community.

We are consulting on the future of the precinct as part of our commitment to work with the community and the service providers to explore options for future uses of Dickson section 72. Community aspirations will be a key focus of the renewal ideas. We will be guided by an integrated and consultative approach to planning for this site and will work with the community and existing occupants of blocks within section 72 to explore options for future uses.

Also in the planning space, work continues to finalise the Curtin and Kippax master plans. We also have substantial work being carried out on the environment front. It is only possible to touch on a few of the key projects.

The ACT government has prepared the draft Molonglo River reserve management plan to guide management of the new reserve for the next 10 years. Set near the growing suburbs of Coombs and Wright, the existing site of the proposed reserve comprises 1,280 hectares and extends 23 kilometres along the Molonglo River, from Scrivener Dam to the Murrumbidgee River corridor reserve. This area contains some of Canberra’s best river landscapes and is home to a wide range of native plants and animals, including the endangered pink-tailed worm-lizard, the superb parrot and box-gum grassy woodland habitat.

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