Liberals vow to revamp planning in Canberra

ALISTAIR Coe has released “Planning for Canberra’s Future”, a document he says will guide the way for better planning policy under a Canberra Liberals Government.

“The ACT’s planning system is too complex, lacks balance, provides no certainty, is frequently changed and promotes government thought bubbles. “Planning for Canberra’s Future” will give confidence to those involved in Canberra’s planning system and better outcomes for residents,” Mr Coe said.

“The Canberra Liberals plan has 29 separate commitments, including:

  • A comprehensive review of the Territory Plan and making it more accessible.
  • A commitment to meaningful consultation before new planning legislation.
  • Reforming the Land Development Agency (LDA) as it has strayed from its core role of bringing land to market.
  • Ensuring a steady supply of land for the market.
  • Supporting a biennial Canberra Planning Summit, the first to be held in 2017.
  • Refining the role of the Government Architect and their role in planning principals.
  • Establishing pre-development application meetings for major constructions.
  • A broad consultation process for dual occupancy developments.
  • An overhaul of current solar access rules.
  • A limit on the amount of time shipping containers can be in the front yard of properties.
  • The development of a Planning Directorate App.
  • A review of all fees and charges that impact the construction industry.
  • Ensuring that all town centres and other high density areas have access to irrigated green space.
  • Making land available in existing and future suburbs for faith and cultural organisations.

“Our Plan also includes previously announced commitments to remove the LVC in Civic and the Town Centres. Canberra’s planning system needs a fresh approach and Planning for Canberra’s Future will map the path forward,” Mr Coe concluded.

Labor’s Mick Gentleman, however, is not impressed:

It’s back to the 50s with the Canberra Liberals’ planning policy designed to help their developer mates cash in.

No urban renewal for the suburbs will leave ordinary Canberrans out in the cold while the Liberals’ commercial mates get the big wins.

ACT Labor however has a plan to renew our infrastructure and build better housing, better suburbs and better communities for our city, which is growing by 5000 people a year.

We have spoken to the community and their priorities are:
· Creating sustainable, compact and liveable neighbourhoods with better transport choices.
· Delivering high quality public spaces and streets through place making.
· Delivering an outcome-focused planning system to reward design excellence and innovation.
· Engaging with the community, business and research sectors to optimise planning outcomes.

In stark contrast – the Canberra Liberals want even more cars on the road and to cut pedestrian access to city small businesses. Cars returning to City Walk will bring gridlock making cycling and walking harder.

Undoing the lease variation charge means developers get all the benefit of land value uplift instead of it coming back to the community to improve our open spaces, footpaths and playgrounds.

By abolishing stamp duty ACT Labor is already helping Canberrans buy homes. You can’t take anything the Liberals say about housing affordability seriously when they oppose this reform.

ACT Labor already has a plan to boost the role of the newly appointed architect, and establish consultation processes that involve the views of the next generation of Canberrans who want to see a renewed, more vibrant and cool little capital that provides for the whole community – not just the Liberal’s mates.

The Canberra Liberals don’t have a plan for the future of our city.

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