LCA engaged in ACTGov planning ‘experiment’

LCA engaged in ACTGov planning ‘experiment’

Yesterday, Mick Gentleman, MLA launched a consultation period for a Statement of Planning Intent.

This is a community engagement experiment, so we’re going to be political lab rats.

The consultation period is only 42 days. Barely enough to engage across communities, generate some interest, reconcile a consensus view and put in a submission. We would suggest 90 days. Still, it adds a sense of urgency.

The statement set out a vision of 3-5 years, hardly long term aspirations.  Perhaps a bit of blue sky thinking and consider 10-20 years ahead, beyond the political life cycle.

The supporting ‘conversation starter‘ makes a number of clear statements about where and how urban infill is going to occur, particularly around the already identified Group Centres. It also clearly re-iterates that ACT Metro is coming. For many areas, the Master Plans are already completed.
So what exactly is left to talk about?
Why are we having this conversation, to make us feel ‘involved’?
What exactly is Mr Gentleman trying to achieve, if anything? Is this just a distraction?

Question 1 is so overloaded with planning buzzwords it’s almost impossible to answer coherently, unless perhaps you’re already a Town Planner.

LCA are all for opening up lines of communication to government and agencies, though we think this one is a little rushed, and a little late with respect to most of the greater planning ideals, they are already pretty clear.

However, Mr Gentlemans words echo our exact thoughts…

“…these priorities and other challenges cannot be addressed by government alone. Community leaders, business owners, research bodies and decision makers all have a role to play in setting priorities for creating a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable city in which we can live. Choices and actions made by each of us today will have a lasting impact …”

We need to remember that..

“…The ACT Planning Strategy sets a target of 50% of new development to be urban infill with growth focussed around existing commercial centres and along ‘rapid’ transport corridors….”

So there’s big changes coming to the identified areas, we need to be involved in ensuring that the principles of good urban design are carried through. The conversation starter suggests the Government are heading in the right direction, but we think there are still gaps.
LCA want to be engaged in the future of the precinct, and we endorse the idea if not all facets of the execution, so we’ll wholeheartedly throw ourselves into the conversation.

We’ll be holding some ‘table talk’ discussions in the near future. Stay tuned for dates and times.

The following questions will help guide the discussion:
How do we achieve a more compact city that is
inclusive, vibrant, connected, prosperous and
environmentally responsible whilst maintaining the
attributes that make Canberra a great place to live,
work and play?
How can we encourage innovation and flexibility
in the planning system and within industry and
maintain certainty related to planning and design
outcomes on the ground?
What do you think should be the top focus for
planning in the ACT and surrounding region in the
next 3–5 years?


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