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Tuesday, 29 May 1984
Page: 2047

Senator REID —On behalf of the Joint Committee on the Australian Capital Territory, I present a report on proposals for variations of the plan of layout of the city of Canberra and its environs, 82nd series, second report. I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

Senator REID —The tabling statement sets out in detail the matters with which the Committee has dealt and refers to one matter that the Committee has deferred , namely, a bicycle path across the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. The Committee wishes to receive more evidence in relation to that matter. The only other matter to which I wish to draw attention is the growing problem of parking in the Civic area. The Committee referred to that matter in great detail a couple of weeks ago in its report, on the 81A series, and it is mentioned again in this report. I shall not deal more fully with those matters this evening. I seek leave to incorporate the tabling statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows-

The report I have just tabled recommends approval of 15 items from the 82nd Series of Variations to the City Plan and involves work valued at $4.5m.

The Committee approved two items in the series in its First Report tabled on 3 May 1984. Only one item, Variation 8 relating to a cycleway from Kings Park to Telopea Park via Jerrabomberra Wetlands, now remains outstanding from this Series. The Committee has deferred this item while further evidence is taken on the proposal.

I wish to comment on only three of the variations in this Report. Firstly, Variation 2, Hawker, which was deferred in the First Report, is now approved by the Committee. The supplying of misleading information on this variation by the National Capital Development Commission which led the Committee to defer the variation and which led the objectors to the proposal to have a false expectation of what their objection might achieve, has been explained by NCDC. The Committee asks that NCDC be more careful in the information it provides about the extent to which its proposals can be changed. In cases where people are mistakenly informed explanations should be provided to those affected as soon as it is realised that a mistake has been made. While the Committee recognises the level of concern of the objectors about the creation of a ''T'' intersection opposite their properties, the importance of providing urgently needed residential blocks and the lack of suitable alternative access proposals means that, on balance, the Committee believes the variation should be approved.

The only other variation in this Report about which an objector gave evidence to the Committee was Variation 17, Macarthur. The objection was based on road safety, ecological and personal grounds. The Committee believes that the road safety and ecological aspects of the variation as proposed by the NCDC are satisfactory. With regard to the objector's personal concerns, it was unfortunate that the objector was not informed by the former leasee of land use proposals for the area opposite his block. The Committee suggests that the NCDC examine its public consultation procedures to see if it is possible to inform people in the objector's position of proposed land use policies in areas in which they intend to buy. As with the variation discussed earlier, the Committee , while being fully aware of the concern of the objector at the creation of a '' T'' intersection opposite his property, has approved the variation on the basis of other important considerations.

In relation to Variation 6 which provides access to the site of the proposed Australian Federal Police Headquarters, the Committee reiterates its concern, expressed in the 81A Series Report, about the lack of car parking facilities in Civic. The Committee was informed that the Australian Federal Police Building and the White Industries Development together would provide additional office space equating to 40 per cent of the available space now in Civic. The Committee believes the long term planning implications of the new developments need to be recognised and adequate provision made for them. The Committee therefore asks that the second recommendation of its 81A Series Report, which recommended measures to deal with the significant additional demand for access to Civic generated by these new developments, be implemented urgently.