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Wednesday, 21 August 1985
Page: 120

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 the layout of the City of Canberra and its environs dated August 1985, the eighty-fifth edition. I also table minutes of proceedings and the transcript of evidence. I seek leave to make a statement relating to the report.

Leave granted.

Senator REID —The report on the eighty-fifth series of variations to the city plan covers five variations and recommends the approval of works valued at $55.1m. The Committee in considering these proposed variations took evidence from 22 witnesses appearing as individuals and representing 8 organisations, including the Australian Capital Territory House of Assembly. The Committee recommends approval of the five variations contained in this series.

Variation 1 proposes the deletion from the city plan of an existing access road and parking area. This will enable the area to be included in the site for the third secondary college in Belconnen. The estimated cost of the college at May 1985 prices is $12m. The Committee approves the variation and notes that criticism made by the Canberra College of Advanced Education concerning inadequate consultation between the National Capital Development Commission and the college regarding the site has now been remedied.

With regard to variation 2, the Committee is concerned about traffic flows and accident figures at the Bowen Drive-Brisbane Avenue intersection. Therefore, approval is given on the basis that the National Capital Development Commission and the Department of Territories satisfy themselves that proper arrangements are made for the intersection, taking into account both present and anticipated traffic flows and accident rates.

The Committee has long recognised the need for adequate retail services in Tuggeranong and approves variation 3, which relates to the Tuggeranong Town Centre project. Although the National Capital Development Commission has assured the Committee that adequate anti-pollution safeguards will be installed, the Committee has some concern about potential pollution hazards affecting the Murrumbidgee River as a result of pressures associated with the construction of the Town Centre. The Committee recommends that the Department of Territories, in the initial stages of development of the project, institute effective monitoring procedures to prevent pollution of the Murrumbidgee River and that funds be made available for this purpose.

The Committee is also conscious of the level of expenditure involved in the construction of the Town Centre and is aware that recovered costs will be absorbed in Consolidated Revenue and may not directly benefit residents of the Australian Capital Territory. Therefore, consideration should be given to making costs associated with the second stage of the project part of the development package for private developers without delaying the development timetable.

The Committee approves variations 4 and 5, which provide for the addition to the city plan of access roads to enable the development of housing and special development areas on the north-western and eastern side of the proposed Lake Tuggeranong, associated with the development of the Tuggeranong Town Centre.

There is a need for that Town Centre and for a third college at Belconnen. They have now been approved I remind the Senate that last night in the Budget certain funding was made available for each of those projects and I welcome it. I hope that each of them is able to proceed without any of the interruptions and problems that have been associated with some of our developments in recent times. They are necessary for the community in each of those areas.