The ACT government has come under fire over feedback time on fast-track planning legislation.
The bill would allow the government to bypass normal planning laws (including the Heritage and Tree Protection Acts) by declaring special precincts and significant projects. The Fast Track projects would include the proposed rail line between Gungahlin and the City, with a ‘special precinct’ expected along the corridor. This would prevent any heritage nominations over buildings in this stretch of development, including Northbourne Avenue
The fast-track bill has been referred to the ACT Assembly’s planning committee for inquiry this month. However ,the inquiry must report back on May 6, with one day for public hearings on April 24.
The National Trust has written to the Chief Minister urging more time, given the importance of the matter.
Much of the debate will form around the heritage value of public housing along Northbourne Avenue. Northbourne Flats and the Northbourne Housing Precinct has been listed by the Australian Institute of Architects as examples of significant 20th century architecture.