Growing concern at the ACT Government’s planning direction has prompted a major public seminar next week that will tackle planning and development decisions in the ACT that are affecting the heritage values, urban landscape and amenity of the national capital.
Vocal critics of the ACT Government’s housing and development policies, former chief minister Jon Stanhope and former ACT Treasury bureaucrat Dr Khalid Ahmed, are behind the town hall-style seminar on 10 September at Albert Hall, which will be facilitated by the Director of the University’s of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, Professor Mark Evans, and sponsored by the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians.
The keynote speaker will be former Canberra Times editor and 2007 Canberra Citizen of the Year Jack Waterford, supported by Lake Burley Griffin Guardians convenor Juliet Ramsay, Woden Valley Community Council president Fiona Carrick, Inner South Canberra Community Council chair Marea Fatseas, and the Campbell Community Association’s Luisa Capezio, who has been battling densification in her suburb.
The seminar outline says that Canberra’s unique public spaces and urban environmental and heritage values are being subjected to significant change through a number of development projects, such as light rail, the proposed City to Lake project and major urbanisation projects across suburbs and in town centres that invariably involve changes to planning policies.
“Serious concerns have been raised by various Community Councils and community groups interested in specific aspects of a project or its impacts on the heritage and amenity values,” it says.
The questions raised in particular are:
- Has the Government complied with its statutory planning requirements?
- Has there been adequate consultation with the local communities, and has the Government provided the necessary relevant information to those communities?
- Has there been input from professionals and experts?
- What is the Government’s vision for Canberra?
The seminar will discuss the role of community councils and community groups in specific planning and/or heritage issues, particularly the adequacy and appropriateness of community consultation processes in planning decisions across the Territory, and how they could be improved.
Mr Waterford’s keynote address will be followed by the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians, and then brief presentations by the Community Council representatives.
There will then be a panel discussion facilitated by Professor Evans, a question and answer session and finally a section chaired by the Guardians for any resolutions the seminar might like to pass.
The free seminar starts at 6 pm. To register, go here.