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Thursday, 31 August 1972
Page: 1007

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock (LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is leave granted? There being no objection leave is granted.

Mr DALY - The report which I have just tabled deals with 2 outstanding items which were referred to the Committee as part of the 49th series of variations to the plan of the layout of the city of Canberra. The Committee reported to Parliament on the remainder of items comprising this reference on 20th April 1972. In the report it indicated that it wished to give further consideration to items 11 and 13, and the report I have just presented is the Committee's report on those outstanding items. From 1956 to 1971 proposed variations referred by the Minister for the Interior were considered by the Committee in private and the Committee communicated its decision direct to the Minister. In 1971 this practice was reviewed and since then reports on variation proposals have been made to the Senate and the House of Representatives. I know of no occasion in the past when the Committee has failed to recommend the implementation of a proposed variation referred for its consideration. The report I have just presented therefore represents a departure in that, having given careful consideration to these 2 matters, the Committee has decided that it cannot support items 11 and 13 of the proposed variations. The reasons for such refusal to approve are set out in full in the report.

We are all strongly of the view that there is already too much concession to the needs of private motorists and the accommodation of their vehicles in the existing proposals for the development of Canberra. Although there is a public transport system in existence, we have formed the impression that it does not provide an acceptable alternative to the private motorist, to the use of his own vehicle. Nor do we consider that improvement in the public transport system alone will reduce the community's reliance on private motor vehicles. Improvement to the public transport system is needed but would only be effective in conjunction with some discouragement to private motorists for the use of their own cars, plus consideration of the introduction of staggered working hours. The provision of extensive parking facilities close to Government offices and other workplaces continues the trend of encouraging private motorists which we consider should be arrested.

There are 2 further points that I should make. The first concerns the position in which this Committee is often placed when asked to consider proposed variations to roads. In many cases these are identical to major develepmental projects undertaken by the Commission. Very often the land use proposals have reached a point of development which makes it very difficult for the Committee to oppose the proposed variations to roads which are incidental to the overall plan. This is a problem that previous Committees also noted. The Commission is also aware of it. We are grateful for the opportunity to attend sessions with the Commission when we are given some advance notice of the new developments which are being considered. However, we feel that it would be helpful if in future when variations are referred to the Committee, the referral were at an earlier stage so that the land development proposal could be modified should the Committee be disposed to recommend against the implementation of the road variations which it has been asked to examine and report upon. I commend the report to the House.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Mr ENDERBY(Australian Capital Territory - I ask leave to make a short statement.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Lucock)Isleave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

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